Questions around the hiring of foreign nationals have surfaced, even sparking a debate on social media. The hashtag #NormaliseHiringSACitizens trended on Tuesday, highlighting the complex argument in the country’s society, over the employment of foreign nationals.
Former Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba, now Peoples Dialogue founder, jumped in on the online conversation to say the discussion indicated the pain some citizens felt in their country.
Heartbreaking that this has to trend. It indicates the pain that so many feel in their own country.
If we can deal with illegal immigration, ensure that foreign nationals respect our laws and bring scarce skills only, South Africans will flourish. pic.twitter.com/2Jx54Iu3dX
— Herman Mashaba (@HermanMashaba) July 14, 2020
During his tenure as Johannesburg mayor, Mashaba was accused of fueling xenophobia with several of his views. The then mayor took huge criticism when he targeted most hijacked buildings, while also insisting at one point that no houses in the city would be built for foreign nationals.
“Right now, if anyone expects me when I build houses [to provide] free accommodation, I can assure you preference is going to be given to South Africans who have been on the waiting lists,” he said in a press briefing.
The mayor maintained he was not the mayor of the world, but the city’s, and would prioritise locals. This resulted in him coming under fire, with some accusing him of being xenophobic.
Mashaba is not the only one to ignite the topic around the hiring of foreign nationals as truck drivers only days ago downed tools calling for locals to be prioritised over foreign nationals.
While the EFF’s Julius Malema called for calm and understanding on the matter, truckers said government and the private sector were leaving many locals unemployed while foreign nationals drove trucks.
In a national shutdown protest, several trucks were set alight, leaving most drivers who were on duty in constant fear. Protesting truckers disrupted traffic but were thwarted by law enforcement who continued to put out fires of disorder in several parts of the country.
Protesting truckers, as a result, have threatened to destabilise the logistics industry if a resolution is not reached over the employment of foreign nationals.
Meanwhile, the department of employment and labour is looking to formalise a new employment policy which will set the tone on the number of foreign nationals working in specific sectors of the economy.
Should this policy fall through, it would mean government would dictate how many foreign nationals could be hired in specific sectors.
The hiring of foreign nationals apparently continues to be an unresolved issue as several on social media posed opposing views on the topic.
“How did we end up with government departments that hire foreigners while we have qualified, capable and willing South Africans? Is this even fair? Can our government please respond?” asked one user.
How did we end up with government departments that hire foreigners while we have qualified, capable and willing South Africans? Is this even fair? Can our government please #NormaliseHiringSACitizens
— Thabelo ???????? (@mudzu_thabe) July 13, 2020
It is Xenophobic when we don’t have skills but keeping job slots open, but now because we have skills..so voetsak, we’ll call you when we need help! #NormaliseHiringSACitizens pic.twitter.com/VEMgOFZC3A
— ༺ᏟᎻᎪᎾᎢᏆᏟ༻ (@Chaotic__SA) July 13, 2020
— Man’s NOT Barry Roux (@Advovolicious) July 13, 2020
We spent 12 years going to school primary n secondary adding more years on top depending on the course you’ve chosen after years struggling you finally get the qualification you thrived for then only to hear there are no jobs the struggle is real people #NormaliseHiringSACitizens pic.twitter.com/KZSHZQCUTU
— @caesinwgdlogos???????????? (@caesinwgdlogos) July 13, 2020
Give SAns are a chance to work so they cant support their families they are not choosy
???? many people are suffering from stress because they are sending CVs with the last money they have with on luck???? they are hopeless please hire them
— Rural man???????????????????????????????? (@Kgalekgale) July 13, 2020
South African???????? graduates are becoming more and more discouraged while our corrupt government is hiring illegal foreigners (cheap labour)
3.DA=racists#NormaliseHiringSACitizens????????#PutSouthAfricansFirst ????????#employSouthAfricans ???????? pic.twitter.com/0FrUsuQPYM
— Siphiwe Maphisa???????????? (@SiphiweMaphisa6) July 13, 2020