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National Labour Migration Policy in the Pipeline

October 25, 2019

Department of Employment and Labour

25 October 2019

A Draft National Labour Migration Policy (NLMP) to deal with labour movement management will be drawn up by March 2020.

The employment and labour department confirmed this in a statement on the Public Employment Services (PES) branch workshop held in East London.

The department’s chief director: PES branch, Esther Tloane, briefed the workshop on the Draft Labour Migration Policy and its implications for PES and the Inspection and Enforcement Services.

She declared that, in drawing up the NLMP, the department has to “strike a balance to manage the movement of labour. South Africa is one of high receiving countries when it comes to migrants, and this is posing serious challenges for the country. The dynamics in South Africa are also very unique”.

The chief director warned that the envisaged policy “should not displace South Africans. We need to strike a balance – this process is a multi-departmental area that needs co-ordination while taking consideration of international conventions”.

According to the department, the NLMP seeks to “equip South Africa with a technically sound policy instrument, which will strengthen the country’s approach to labour migration, and contribute to the socio-economic agenda”.

Other proposed benefits of the NLMP include helping turnaround time and streamlining work visa processes; assisting in revisiting and clarification of 60/40 ratio (for business visas); implementation of the skills transfer plan and improving collaboration domestically and externally.

Tloane emphasized that a critical aspect in the development of the NLMP was the amendment of the country’s constitution.

She also said that the proposed NLMP recommends quotas and identification of sectors that will be strictly reserved for South Africans.