President Ramaphosa, during answers to questions in the national assembly at the end of last week, declared that the unemployment crisis in South Africa has been “dramatically deepened by the economic effects of the global coronavirus pandemic”.
The president added that South Africa needs to use every means at our disposal to rebuild our economy, protect existing jobs and create new jobs.
“This means, among other things, that we need to look at issues of migration, employment and economic activity”, he said.
The president called on South Africans to “avoid the populist temptation to blame our unemployment crisis on foreign nationals working in our country, either legally or illegally”.
“By the same measure, we need to understand and respond to the frustrations of many South Africans at the violation of immigration laws and other regulations by those companies that employ foreign nationals illegally”, he said.
The president announced that cabinet recently established an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on the Employment of Foreign Nationals.
The IMC, co-chaired by the employment and labour and home affairs ministers, will deal with the migration of foreign nationals for employment and related opportunities.
“The IMC will provide guidance on matters such as existing labour supply agreements, trade relations and transportation agreements. It will also address criminality and related security matters across our borders.”
The IMC will also review decisions on special dispensation work permits, amendments to the Immigration Act and Employment Services Act and Labour Migration Management.
The president emphasized that the IMC will also “need to ensure that our approach to the employment of foreign nationals provides the scarce and critical skills that we need to grow our economy”.