South Africa on track to finalise draft NLMP by March 2020
South Africa is on track to have a draft National Labour Migration Policy (NLMP) by March 2020 to deal with labour movement management.
Department of Employment and Labour Chief Director: Public Employment Services (PES) branch, Esther Tloane said the implication was that while developing the country’s NLMP, we have to strike a balance to manage the movement of labour. South Africa is one of high receiving countries when it comes to migrants, and this is posing serious challenges for the country. The dynamics in South Africa are also very unique.
Tloane was speaking during a Department of Employment and Labour’s Public Employment Services (PES) branch workshop. Her presentation focused on the draft Labour Migration Policy and its implications for PES and the Inspection and Enforcement Services (IES). The three-day PES branch workshop ends today.
She told the workshop that migration was a global phenomenon, saying according to the recent International Labour Organisation (ILO) statistics, there was an estimated 280 million migrants worldwide. Tloane said migration was occurring not out of choice, migrants were moving due to political instabilities, lack of employment opportunities, climate change and other pull and push factors.
The policy we are developing should not displace South Africans. We need to strike a balance this process is a multi-departmental area that needs co-ordination while taking consideration of international conventions, she cautioned.
South Africa was developing the NLMP as part of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) agreement of Ministers of Employment and Labour to develop national frameworks on NLMP as far back in 2013. The deadline for SADC member states is November 2019 for countries to develop their policies.
In 2016, the department formalised its Road Map for the development of a National Labour Migration Policy. The NLMP aims to equip South Africa with a technically sound policy instrument, which will strengthen the country’s approach to labour migration, and contribute to the socio-economic agenda.
Tloane said in developing the draft policy, South Africa focused on the African Union and SADC protocols; various international agreements such as Convention 97 and Convention 143, the Sustainable Development Goals, the SA constitution and Employment Services Act.
Employment and Labour Minister TW Nxesi said last night during the PES awards that: we need to help facilitate regulation and bring order to this difficult area, mindful of the sensitivities involved, including relations with our neighbours to the north; the divisive cheap labour policy being adopted by employers.
But, also mindful of the skills and economic stimulus that immigrants can bring; whilst ensuring that South African nationals are not squeezed out of employment in certain sectors. But, what we must all agree is that the violent and unlawful attacks on non-nationals and their property that we have witnessed can never, under any circumstances be justified.
Tloane said the implication for both IES and PES was that this will require the thorough enforcement of Employment Services Act.
The objective of ES Act is: to provide for public employment services; to provide for the establishment of schemes to promote the employment of young work seekers and other vulnerable persons; to provide for schemes to assist employees in distressed companies to retain employment; to facilitate the employment of foreign nationals in a manner that is consistent with the objects of this Act and the Immigration Act, 2002; to provide for the registration and regulation of private employment agencies; to provide for the establishment of the Employment Services Board; to provide for the establishment of Productivity South Africa; to provide for the establishment of Supported Employment Enterprises; to provide for transitional provisions; and to provide for matters connected therewith.
Tloane said the NLMP would also help turnaround time and streamline work visa processes; assist in revisiting and clarification of 60/40 ratio (for business visas); implementation of the skills transfer plan; improve collaboration domestically and externally.
According to Tloane another critical aspect in the development of the NLMP was the amendment of the country’s constitution. She also said NLMP recommends quotas and identification of sectors that will be strictly reserved to South Africans. She disclosed that the Department was in the process of conducting a study on the impact of special dispensation(s) to the local labour market.
Meanwhile, Employment and Labour Minister has announced his intention to extend the contract of the Department’s Director-General, Thobile Lamati for another five years. Lamati assumed his duties as Department’s Director-General in December 2014.
Source: Government of South Africa