Xenophobic attacks in South Africa; Latest news on torching of tracks driven by foreigners

The Select Committee on Trade and Industry, Economic Development, Small Business Development, Tourism, Employment and Labour; of South African Parliament, today met with the Department of Employment and Labour to discuss the latest developments in the road freight and logistics sector, following the torching of trucks driven by foreign nationals on South African roads.

The Departments Director-General, Mr Thobile Lamati, told the committee during an oversight visit to the Supported Employment Enterprises centre in Ndabeni, Cape Town, that the department has conducted inspections in the road freight and logistics industry following complaints from disgruntled South African drivers who feel they have lost their jobs as a result of truck companies preferring to employ foreign nationals as truck drivers.

A joint inspection task team which comprised the Departments of Employment and Labour, Home Affairs, Transport, Police, the National Bargaining Council for Road Freight Industry, and the RTI confirmed the prevalence of foreign nationals employed as truck drivers.

Other findings include non-compliance with UIF legislation, failure to pay overtime, Sunday work, holiday rate and implementation of incentive schemes. The inspection also discovered non-compliance with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.

The committee also heard about the lack of a “labour migration policy” in South Africa and the department said a process was under way to develop one, and will soon be tabled before the Cabinet.

“We now have a clear understanding of what is happening and we will continue getting regular updates from the department and other relevant stakeholders on the matter, it is work in progress, an attack on any worker, foreign or local, is a criminal offence and cannot be condoned,” said Committee Chairperson Mr Mandla Rayi.

He also said they will meet with other select committees and the departments they are responsible for oversight on, so that to deal with the situation before it spreads to other sectors.

The committee was also briefed on the annual performance plans of the Supported Employment Enterprises, entities of the Department of Labour that provide work opportunities for persons with disabilities.

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