Driving not a scarce skill in S. Africa: government tells truck firms


South African employers must desist from employing foreign nationals in exchange of employing South Africans, the government said Monday in a statement.

Driving is not a scarce skill in South Africa and currently there are no companies that officially applied for scarce skills dispensation as per the law, the government said in a statement.

This came after a ministerial task team, comprising Minister of Transport Blade Nzimande, Minister of Labor Mildred Oliphant and Minister of Home Affairs Siyabonga Cwele, and Minister of Police Bheki Cele, met with representatives from the transport sector to address grievances over foreigners taking up jobs as drivers.

Last month, a new spate of attacks on foreigners erupted in KwaZulu-Natal Province and other parts of the country as locals protested against truck companies hiring foreigners as drivers.

Local communities have complained about the fraudulent abuse of the Zimbabwe Exemption Permit, which allows thousands of Zimbabweans to work in South Africa, and the selling of driving licenses in the black market by foreign drivers, and by some South Africans and companies.

There has also been concern that some of the implicated companies are also employing people on visitor’s visa, which is against the provisions of the Immigration Act, the government statement said.

In terms of the law, employers are required to ascertain the status of the foreign nationals they intend to appoint before employing them, said the statement.

“Through our law enforcement operations, we will continue to arrest individuals and companies who continue to exploit South African laws, particularly section 8 of the Employment Services Act of 2014,” the statement said.

The government appealed to employers to act in a responsible manner in handling labor matters and following on necessary labor prescripts.

It warned that those who are found to be sabotaging the economy of the country will be incarcerated. Enditem

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