DEL adopts tough stance against employment of undocumented foreigners

Minister of Employment and Labour (DEL) Thulas Nxesi urged South African companies to properly vet foreign employees.

Minister of Employment and Labour (DEL) Thulas Nxesi urged South African companies to properly vet foreign employees.

Published Mar 23, 2024


The Minister of Employment and Labour (DEL) Thulas Nxesi has issued a stern warning to South African companies that employ undocumented foreigners in their workplaces.

This comes after a Zimbabwean national, Kudakwashe Mpofu, who has been accused of working as chief financial officer in the North West Development Cooperation while illegally in the country, appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

The 32-year-old former official reportedly resigned from his position at the weekend before handing himself over to authorities on Wednesday morning after it was alleged that in 2022, Mpofu had used a fraudulent permit to remain in the country.

After investigations by the South African Police Service, Mpofu then handed himself over and he was formally arrested. His matter in court was postponed Tuesday for bail information and a possible bail application.

Mpofu’s arrest and Nxesi’s statement comes just a month after Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi called for harsher sanctions against business owners who knowingly hired undocumented foreigners.

This week, Nxesi said it was concerned about the increasing number of undocumented immigrants employed in the wholesale and retail sectors.

DEL says it said it had been forced to implement the Employment Services Act following a recent three-day crackdown in Rustenburg, in North West province.

“The DEL’s inspection and enforcement service has noted with concern the number of undocumented foreign nationals employed in the wholesale and retail sectors.This was revealed during a three-day joint blitz inspection conducted in Rustenburg, North West.

In what looks like a tough stance against the employment of undocumented foreigners, the DEL working with other law enforcement agencies, issued over 50 contravention notices and compliance orders against non-compliant employers in Rustenburg in the North West while nine undocumented foreign nationals were also arrested during the operation.

This is as the Department of Home Affairs also confirmed the escape of about 70 undocumented foreign nationals from the Lindela Repatriation Centre in Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg this week.

Home affairs indicated that there was an altercation between the immigrants and security personnel at the centre which resulted in the escape.

"Our investigation revealed there was an altercation between the inmates and EnviroMongz management and its security team. It was during this altercation that 69 undocumented foreign nationals escaped,“ the department of home affairs said.

Independent Media also reported that DEL’s provincial chief inspector, Chris Sithole, said employers found to have contravened the act would be fined and their employees arrested.

“Once an employer is found to have contravened this act, we will fine and charge them, and from these blitzes we had fines amounting to R20 000 for the nine employers found to have employed foreign nationals,” Sithole said.

Saturday Star

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