CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) --
South Africa will target unethical businesses that employ illegal
immigrants as a new tactic to deal with xenophobic violence, Home Affairs
Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Thursday.
cases business incentivizes irregular migration, and those contributing to
questionable labor practices must be held to account,” Gigaba said at a press
briefing in Cape Town.
It is far
easier and convenient for some to target desperate and vulnerable migrants than
the unscrupulous employers who deliberately fuel tensions in the labour market,
the minister explained.
speaking after a new wave of xenophobic violence erupted in parts of the country
as a result of growing disgruntlement among local residents over foreign
nationals who are blamed for taking up employment that should otherwise belong
government is working with business on these issues, to ensure compliance,
employment of locals and harmonious relationships desired for development,
economic growth and empowerment of citizens, Gigaba said.
Business is a
critical partner in managing anti-immigrant sentiments and more will be expected
of them, he said.
“We have a
commitment of the hospitality sector on the need to comply with South Africa’s
labor and immigration laws, especially the requirement to employ a minimum 60
percent of local people. This is the message we are taking to the rest of
business, and will feature strongly in our upcoming meetings,” said Gigaba.
He said there
will be workplace inspections and penalties for employing undocumented
foreigners will be imposed.
enforcement agencies have intensified a crackdown on illegal immigrants,
arresting a total of 63 people who were employed by the Spar supermarkets across
the country without documentation.
violence is not new in South Africa. The country first experienced xenophobic
violence in 2008, with attacks on foreign nationals mainly in Gauteng and the
Western Cape provinces.
another wave of attacks was seen in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. It was sparked by
a labor dispute over the employment of foreign nationals at a store in Isipingo
2017, there are renewed incidents of violence against foreign nationals in
Rosettenville and Pretoria West, both in Gauteng.
also communities agitating against foreign nationals, Gigaba said.
regard, a protest march is planned for Friday in the Pretoria CBD.
Disgruntlement raised by communities is around competition for jobs, access to
economic opportunities and alleged criminal activities involving foreign
nationals, including drug peddling and prostitution.
directed all security officials to be visible in communities and to objectively
deal with criminality, regardless of whether it is committed by a South African
or a foreign national,” Gigaba said.
for compliance with the Constitution and other laws of the Republic, by citizens
and foreign nationals, the government prioritizes documentation of persons in
South Africa, and deportation of those who are undocumented, Gigaba noted.
rejected any insinuation or assertion seeking to cast South Africans as mere
Zambia warns citizens over South Africa
LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) --
Zambian authorities on Thursday issued a warning to citizens intending to travel
or residing in South Africa to exercise caution in the wake of attacks on
embassy in South Africa issued a statement following attacks that have targeted
foreign nationals, especially Africans.
weekend, 30 shops belonging to foreigners were looted and burnt down in a
travel to or reside in South Africa are urged to register with the Zambia High
Commission to make it easier for the Mission to contact them in case of
emergency,” a statement issued by the embassy said.
therefore, wish to advise Zambians in South Africa to pay close attention to
their personal security at all times and monitor the media for information about
possible risk areas,” it added.
acknowledging that no Zambians have been attacked yet, the statement added that
the embassy has received numerous calls from citizens expressing anxiety and
fear for their safety.