South Africa

‘We can’t treat them like animals’: Nxesi lambasts Operation Dudula

Employment and Labour Minister, Thulas Nxesi has slammed Operation Dudula which so far targets undocumented foreign nationals in parts of Gauteng.

Nxesi was speaking at the Presidential Imbizo held over the weekend in North West.

WHAT IS OPERATION DUDULA?

The Operation Dudula group is fiercely opposed to illegal immigration, and they claim to fight for the prioritisation of South Africans in the labour market. With unemployment remaining high in the country, the controversial movement feels locals should be the first option for any vacancies.

Recently, the township of Alexandra in Gauteng became a temporary battleground as South African citizens ended up in violent clashes with a group of foreigners.

Some locals feared that the xenophobia which engulfed this part of the country three years ago is now back with a vengeance.

Things got ugly in Alex and bricks were hurled through the air, causing superficial injuries for some at the scene.

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NXESI AGAINST ATTACKS ON IMMIGRANTS

Nxesi said a number of industries such as tourism, security and hospitality prefer or hire non-South African nationals.

“We are starting to see this even in big retail shops. This is not because they love them, want to exploit them and do not pay them the agreed salaries or give them any benefits. So employers are just exploiting cheap labour.

“We want to deal with the matter, but we want to regulate it properly. Refugees have human rights too, we can’t treat them like animals. In terms of our Constitution, we can’t ban them but we can regulate and even put quotas.”

Thulas Nxesi

A number of African countries including Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Kenya have passed laws that reserve jobs for their citizens unless a refugee has a scarce skill.

Nxesi said they also do not agree with the politicians who just jump into workplaces and say they have come to inspect.

“We also do not agree with Operation Dudula approach because it creates confrontation and can lead to violence. All they need to do is come to us and comment on the document and proposal or put their proposal so that we can deal with this matter amicably.”

ALSO READ: “Give undocumented foreigners amnesty” – DA reveals new migration policy

Artmotion S.Africa

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