• Professor Hugo Pienaar

Government looking at new laws to limit the employment of foreigners in South Africa


Government looking at new laws to limit the employment of foreigners in South Africa – Legal experts say new legislation a careful balancing act


The ongoing unrest in the truck sector has resulted in the Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi, announcing that government is looking at new regulations to limit the employment of foreign nationals in South Africa.


Thulas Nxesi says the new legislation would not only be limited to the road and freight sector but also other industries which employ a high number of foreign workers such as the hospitality sector, restaurants, security, farming and agriculture.


“The minister alluded to the fact that some employers are unscrupulously hiring illegal foreign nationals as a means to curb labour legislation that protects the rights of workers – for example being able to pay extremely low wages and extend working hours,” says Professor Hugo Pienaar, Director in the Employment practice at commercial law firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr.


But he explains that the situation is complex. “While current legislation states that South Africans should be given preference, it’s not as easy as just saying that no foreigners can be hired in certain sectors as legal foreign nationals have rights too, which employers need to be aware of.”


CDH employment experts are available to comment on

  • the possible introduction of legislation restricting foreign nationals from working in certain sectors and what this entails;

  • How this differs from the current legislation;

  • How employers can ensure they remain compliant.










ENDS