Seven employers were recently arrested and charged for employing undocumented migrants when 567 business premises were inspected by the home affairs department in Tshwane and Johannesburg.
The Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) cluster briefed the media in Pretoria yesterday, where Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba added that 147 undocumented migrants had been arrested.
“We raided two Spar retail outlets, a hotel, panelbeating shops and garages, shops owned by foreign nationals and a number of institutions. Most of the foreign-owned shops inspected did not comply with the 60%/40% ratio [of employment] as they employed only foreign nationals in possession of asylum-seeker permits,” Gigaba said.
He said unemployed South Africans were insulted and accused of being lazy criminals and untrustworthy. However, businesses instead employed undocumented immigrants to lower their wages, as they were not members of unions and could be easily dismissed.
“That is criminal. We will be punishing employers who employ those with illegal documents as they are infringing on the Immigration Act and the new visa regulations that were promulgated in 2014,” he said.
“As the department, we would rather cooperate and collaborate in implementing South African laws. It is in the interests of local businesses that we should implement these laws to get South Africans employed, for many of our people to get off the streets and into productive employment,” he said.
The recent xenophobic attacks in parts of Gauteng had many people sharing images and voice recordings of alleged violence towards immigrants and South Africans abroad.
State Security Minister David Mahlobo said a recent viral recording of a Nigerian man calling on foreign nationals to retaliate by attacking South African businesses across Africa had proved to be a hoax. The man behind the voice was not a Nigerian national.
He said the department and the security cluster were looking into ways of monitoring activities in cyberspace and on social media to limit incorrect information.