The National Labor Migration Policy of the Department of Employment and Labor aims to provide a national regulatory framework in line with international labor standards and regional labor migration frameworks The Vice Minister of the Department of Employment and Labor, Boitumelo Moloi, said yesterday (04 October 2022) that the main objective of the National Labor Migration Policy (NLMP) will be to ensure that labor migration to and from South Africa is carried out in the interest of both migrant workers and the South African economy and society.
Moloi delivered a keynote address yesterday at the Birchwood Hotel OR Tambo, Johannesburg, during the South Africa Dialogue on Mixed Migration and Labor Governance, in which labor actors (Ministries of Labor, workers’ and employers’ organizations) participated.
“Labor laws in South Africa cover all workers regardless of race, gender, religious belief or origin.
What is worrying, however, is the tendency of some employers to take advantage of vulnerable workers, given the current high levels of unemployment, to exploit them and subject them to unacceptable conditions or to undermine existing labor laws and regulations,” Moloi said.
Furthermore, Moloi said, “These kinds of practices have led to sporadic incidents of unnecessary conflict and friction between locals and foreigners.”
Deputy Minister Moloi said that wherever you go in the SADC region, you will find native South Africans moving freely and even other neighboring foreign nationals who also enjoy the same freedom in South Africa.
“I am bringing this up because there are people who continue to spread legends and beliefs that South Africans are xenophobic.
“We continue to support initiatives at the SADC and African Union levels aimed at ensuring cooperation to facilitate the movement of people as a key element of economic and political integration,” the Deputy Minister said.
With the support of the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Department of Employment and Labor has adopted an inclusive and participatory policy development strategy that began in 2015 with a high-level seminar on labor migration management and policy development , the establishment of a route map in 2016 and a work team whose responsibility is to supervise the development of the Labor Migration policy.
“The first mission of the South African National Labor Migration Policy is to provide a national regulatory framework aligned with international labor standards and regional labor migration frameworks whose main objective will be to ensure that labor migration to and from South Africa takes place in interest of migrant workers and the South African economy and society,” Moloi said.
The Director of the ILO Decent Work Team for the Eastern and Southern Africa office in Pretoria, Dr. Joni Musabayana, said that the objectives of the Tripartite Dialogue on the Governance of Labor Migration in South Africa are to: Take stock and learn about the finalization and ongoing implementation of South Africa’s labor migration policy.
; Identify together the challenges and opportunities for 2022-2023 in the implementation of the policy, as well as other priorities that the SAMM (Southern African Migration Management) project could support to accelerate its implementation; and finally, identify national focal points responsible for each of the thematic areas covered by the SAMM project to facilitate follow-up.
The country-level dialogues on the Governance of Mixed and Labor Migration are organized within the framework of the Southern African Migration Management (SAMM) project, funded by the European Union and led by the International Labor Organisation.
This four-year project (2020-2023) is designed to improve migration management in the Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region.
Due to the sensitive nature of the issue of migration management, President Cyril Ramaphosa established an Interministerial Task Force on Migration and Employment in 2020, led by 12 Ministers and senior civil servants from various departments led by the Ministers of Employment and Labor.
The tripartite dialogue, which started yesterday, will continue until tomorrow, October 06, 2022, in Gauteng.