Department of Employment and Labour Deputy Minister, Boitumelo Moloi, says the main objective of the National Labour Migration Policy (NLMP) will be to ensure that labour migration to and from South Africa is undertaken in the interests of both migrant workers and the South African economy and society.
While addressing South Africa’s Dialogue on Labour and Mixed Migration Governance – involving work actors (Ministries of Labour, workers and employers’ organisations), she said NLMP aims to provide a national regulatory framework in line with the international labour standards and regional labour migration frameworks.
“The Labour laws in South Africa cover all workers irrespective of race, gender, religious belief or origin. However, what is disturbing, is tendencies by some employers who take advantage of vulnerable workers, given the current high unemployment levels, to exploit them and subject them to unacceptable conditions or undermine the current labour laws and standards,” Moloi said.
She added that these kind of practices have led to sporadic incidents of conflicts and unnecessary frictions between locals and foreign nationals.
She said wherever you go in the SADC region, you will find South African natives moving freely and even other neighbouring foreign nationals enjoying the same freedom as well in South Africa.
“I am raising these because there are people who continue to propagate beliefs that South Africans are Xenophobic. We continue to support initiatives at SADC and the African Union levels aimed at ensuring cooperation in easing the movement of people as a key element of economic and political integration,” the Deputy Minister said.
With the support from the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Department of Employment and Labour has adopted an inclusive and participatory policy development strategy.
The development strategy started in 2015 with a high-level seminar on labour migration management and policy development, the establishment of a road map in 2016 and a task team whose responsibility is to supervise the development of the Labour Migration policy.
“South Africa’s first National Labour Migration Policy mission is to provide a national regulatory framework aligned to international labour standards and regional labour migration frameworks whose main objective will be to ensure that labour migration to and from South Africa is undertaken in the interests of both migrant workers and the South African economy and society,” Moloi said.
ILO Director in the Decent Work Team for Eastern and Southern Africa office in Pretoria, Dr Joni Musabayana, said the Tripartite Dialogue on Labour Migration Governance’s objectives in South Africa are:
To take stock and learn about ongoing finalisation and implementation of South Africa’s labour migration policy;
Identify together 2022-2023 challenges and opportunities in implementing the policy as well as further priorities that the SAMM (Southern Africa Migration Management) project could support to fast track its implementation; and lastly,
Identify national focal points responsible for each of the thematic areas covered by the SAMM project in order to facilitate follow-up.
The country-level dialogues on Labour and Mixed Migration Governance are organised within the framework of the Southern Africa Migration Management (SAMM) project that is financed by the European Union and led by the International Labour Organization.
The four-year project (2020-2023) is designed to improve migration management in the Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region.
Due to the sensitive nature of migration management subject, President Cyril Ramaphosa established an Inter-Ministerial Task Team on Migration and Employment in 2020, led by 12 Ministers and senior Public Servants from various departments led by the Ministers of Employment and Labour and Home Affairs.
The tripartite dialogue – which started on Tuesday will continue in Gauteng.
Source: Nam News Network