Government takes Huawei South Africa to court over employment equity violations

The Department of Employment and Labour has filed court papers against Huawei Technologies South Africa due to non-compliance with employment equity policies.

Huawei Technologies South Africa was audited in 2020 and found to be non-compliant in that they employ approximately 90% foreign nationals, which violates the Employment Equity Policy (EAP), the department said in a statement on Friday (11 February).

“Huawei’s legal department contacted the department in an attempt to reach an amicable resolution. When asked about the 90% foreign national employment, the legal person stated that Huawei was granted permission by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) to employ the number of foreign nationals they do.

“In investigating this matter, we worked with DHA to determine whether DHA had granted Huawei a permit to employ more than 40% foreign nationals, as required by the immigration regulations. It was discovered that Huawei was granted a permit in accordance with the provisions of the immigration regulations that required them to employ 60% South Africans and 40% foreign nationals.”

A subsequent meeting was held between the Departments of Employment and Labour, Home Affairs, and Trade and Industry to determine whether Huawei had committed any other violations of national laws administered by the Department of Trade and Industry.

As a result, the Department has determined that its cause of action is clear and that all transgressions have been committed, and it has decided to refer this case to court without further delay.

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Specific contentions include:

  • At top management level, Huawei has five employees, all five (100%) are foreign nationals, and Huawei intends to keep this number for the next two years without employing any of the designated groups.
  • At senior management, 38% are foreign nationals and Huawei is projecting to increase this number.
  • At the skilled-technical level, 76% are foreign nationals, with Huawei projecting an increase in the next two years.

“The department would like to exercise caution and send a strong message to other employers who do not comply with employment equity policies that the department is on their tail and consequences will be incurred if non-compliance is discovered,” it said.

Read: South Africa looking at introducing remote-working and other visas

Artmotion S.Africa

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