Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi. Photo: ANA

Durban - Amid the xenophobic attacks fears that are still gripping the country, Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi says employers and foreign leaders must take responsibility for their part in the causes of the attacks.

Addressing the ongoing SACTWU 14th national Congress in Durban on Sunday, a fiery Nxesi said at some point they went to Zimbabwe as Cosatu but they were turned back by the ruling regime there. 

Without condoning violence against foreign nationals Nxesi said some local employers were pitting local workers against their foreign counterparts by employing foreign workers at their expense. 

Going for foreign leaders, he said some of the reasons why some workers migrate for job opportunities in the country was because the environment was no longer conducive for them to work.

Nxesi was addressing the ongoing SACTWU (Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers' Union) 14th national Congress in Durban on Sunday, which has drawn over 2000 delegates from all over the country.

Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi addressing the SACTWU 14th national Congress in Durban. Video: Sihle Mavuso/Politics.

“They (employers) must take responsibility for what we are doing because they are making the workers to fight against each other. The reality is why? You can’t have in one factory 100% drivers, coming, being foreign workers and you ignore the local labour. That is what is happening,” Nxesi charged.

A fiery Nxesi turned to foreign leaders. He said at some point they went to Zimbabwe as Cosatu but they were turned back by the ruling regime there.

Video: Sihle Mavuso/Politics.

He was referring to a May 2006 incident when the then general secretary of Cosatu, Zwelinzima Vavi, a fierce critic of the recently departed Robert Mugabe, was deported the moment he touched down in Harare on the invitation of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) which was hosting a conference.

“… hard talk, some of the leaders are blaming South Africa from outside. They are not doing self-introspection to say they are the cause of the instability of these workers who found themselves in South Africa because of political instability, poor governance and corruption,” he said.

Nxesi repeated the known fact that migration patterns on the African continent have been, for the past three decades, towards the south of the continent, mainly to South Africa, saying that was problematic. 

Political Bureau