The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) reiterated that its Private Members Bill is not xenophobic, but seeks to prioritise work for South Africans and regulate the employment of foreign nationals.
The party believes the Bill is a solution to the unemployment crisis in the country, which rose to 35.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The IFP’s Youth Brigade led the launch of the draft bill in Gauteng.
IFP leader Velenkosini Hlabisa criticised the government for its inability to gain control over South Africa’s immigration crisis. Hlabisa will table the party’s Private Members Bill in Parliament, although the Bill seeks to prioritise the employment of South Africans it still caters for foreign nationals.
The Bill further seeks to amend the Employment Services Act of 2014 with the intention to regulate the recruitment of foreign nationals in the country. This comes at a time when the unemployment rate is at a record high.
The Bill was first launched in KwaZulu-Natal in May and is now being introduced in Gauteng. IFP spokesperson, Mkhuleko Hlengwa says the party is not apologetic for the proposal of the Bill.
Hlengwa says, “This Bill that we are proposing and that we are introducing to you today is that we are not xenophobic but we are not apologetic that every job opportunity must firstly be occupied by a South African.”
IFP to launch the IFP’s Private Member Bill, Employment Services in Gauteng
Hlabisa pinned the blame for the illegal immigration crisis on government. He says the reason the country is plagued with an influx of illegal immigrants is because of the porous borders.
:The government of South Africa does not know the majority of the foreign nationals where they stay and how long they are here because they never see them getting in and some also get out having not been noticed by our government. That is why our people are suffering so much. The government services – whether it’s education, health – we are competing with people from other countries,” says Hlabisa.
Meanwhile, IFP Member of Parliament, Liezl van der Merwe who is the author of the Bill, is confident that the Bill will be passed in Parliament.
Van der Merwe says, “So comrades this bill will not fail, we started working on this bill in 2019, we have consulted, we are doing public hearings and listening to the views of South Africans. subsequently now, the minister of labour wants to do something similar. I don’t think we need to be worried, when we get to parliament it will be a simple difference between what we want in the Bill and what the ANC wants in the bill.”
The Bill was drafted in 2019 and the IFP says it welcomes public input, citizens can submit their input via the IFP’s website.
The IFP Private Member Bill to assist employment crisis in South Africa: