The department of labour has begun a countrywide crackdown on South African businesses, in an effort to ensure that companies are not employing more than 40% foreign labour.
According to a report by the Cape Argus , Home Affairs has already visited 85 places of employment in the last two months, including chain stores, farms, hotels and other businesses.
Home Affairs highlighted that the regulations requiring no more than 40% foreign labour in a company’s workforce were not new, but had been “significantly tightened” in the last few months to flush out companies breaking the law.
It said non-compliant companies will be fined heavily and have their licences reviewed, while managers and owners could be jailed for up to two years if the department decided to take legal action.
“This is not a one-off, but an ongoing activity which is achieved through inspections to ensure companies comply,” said Home Affairs minister Hlengiwe Mkhize.
“The role of the department is to continuously enforce compliance and there’s no limit on the number of times a place of employment can be inspected.”
Newly-appointed minister Mkhize’s actions stem from a similar message started by his predecessor, Malusi Gigaba, who warned in February of this year that he was coming for non-compliant businesses.
“Companies, businesses: Be warned. We are coming for you. We will charge them, there’s no doubt. The manger will be charged. Often times, we focus on the undocumented employee and not the company,” Gigaba said at the time.
“We are not saying businesses should only employ 60% of South Africans. Go higher.”