EFF is sometimes viewed as a scary lion by most organisations, but the employment and labour department has weighed in on the EFF's controversial visits to Johannesburg restaurants. The purpose of the visit was to demand that management provide them with information on how many foreign nationals they employ at the establishment.
EFF leader Julius Malema made the visits on Wednesday the 19th of January 2022. When he go there, he asked for information on foreign employees vs the number of South Africans employed at the businesses.
The department however did not mention Malema’s name in their statement. it said this was a matter within its jurisdiction.
Their representative said “The principle of fair labour practice is a fundamental right enshrined and guaranteed in the constitution of South Africa. The Labour Relations Act and the Basic Conditions of Employment Act give effect to the principle of fair labour practice. The legislation prescribes recourse for employees who feel their rights have been trampled upon,” the department said.
“The legislation set in place is intended to protect employees irrespective of their nationality as long as the employment relationship can be identified. The same rights accorded to a South African employee apply to foreign nationals.
That then means all employees are entitled to conditions of employment and prescribed minimum wage. Any employer who departs from this principle because an employee is a foreign national violates our laws.”
While all this is true, South Africa has an all-time high youth unemployment rate which is sitting at 66.5%. The EFF has however said the visits were meant to check that “our fellow Africans are not exploited and locals are employed at a satisfactory level” at that particular establishment.
The Labor department has said organisations or in this case, political parties that find non-compliance with the law should raise the matter with them or a bargaining council if it falls under the council's jurisdiction.
Thulas Nxesi who is the Employment and labour minister has warned the EFF and it's president Mr Malema not to cross the line.
His words where “One cannot seek to see the enforcement of the law by breaking the law. Violence in seeking to identify areas of non-compliance is counterproductive to the principle of labour market stability and labour peace, which are important to attract foreign investment needed to fight unemployment, inequality and poverty,”
He insisted that violence and intimidation was not the way to point out non-compliance in the
“The government is dealing with regulations regarding the employment of foreign workers in South Africa. It is imperative to wait for the process to be completed rather than parties acting outside the law, which will be tantamount to breaking the law.”
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