EFF accuses agriculture, hospitality sectors of employing foreigners over locals
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Johannesburg – The EFF has announced plans to zero in on the hospitality and agricultural industries as it wants to pressure businesses to ensure South Africans constitute not less than 60% of their workforce.
This comes as the party accuses the tourism, hospitality and farming sectors of employing foreign nationals and exploiting them while side-lining South Africans in terms of job opportunities.
EFF leader Julius Malema was on Monday briefing the media on a wide range of issues which were part of the party's meeting held at the weekend.
Malema said while the party was committed to pan-Africanism, it had realised many companies in SA employed foreign nationals because they did not enjoy the protection of labour rights.
“We therefore call on all employers, inclusive of farms, retail stores, restaurants, hotels and the entire private sector to ensure that a minimum of 60% of their employees are South African. The EFF labour desk in all parts of SA will visit different establishments to ensure that the employment of minimum 60% South Africans is a reality,” Malema said.
Malema stressed the move was not directed against foreign nationals, but at employers.
“This programme is not xenophobic, but aimed at guaranteeing protection of all employees in different sectors of the economy because the establishments abuse the migration status of our brothers and sisters to violate basic labour and human rights on the basis of citizenship,” he said.
The EFF said it would also call for a formal probe into the working conditions of farm workers, as it said they remained extremely exploited by farm owners.
“We will table a draft resolution in Parliament for an establishment of a commission of inquiry into the conditions and the remuneration of farm workers,” Malema said.
Malema also criticised political journalists who left their profession to work as government spin-doctors, arguing this proved their bias.
Malema and the EFF leadership have for years been at loggerheads with journalists who had been reporting on their alleged impropriety and corrupt activities, relating to the VBS bank looting saga, among other scandals.
Malema singled out former senior journalist Ranjeni Munusamy who has now been appointed by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni as his community outreach officer.
Munusamy left her job at Arena Media last year after she was implicated at the Zondo commission into state capture in allegations of having received money from a Crime Intelligence slush fund.
Malema said the EFF felt vindicated in its insistence that Munusamy was among those who had been using their positions in the media to fight the battles of politicians and attacking their opponents.
“It is more concerning that there seems to be a trend of journalists using the media fraternity as a springboard to political appointments with the state,” he said.