By Sakhiseni Nxumalo
Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula said the government was working on reserving some jobs only for South Africans.
Mbalula was responding to questions about some of the plans in place to ensure that the trucking industry was stable.
Over the past month there were several protests as local truck drivers demanded freight companies stop employing foreign nationals as truck drivers.
The shutdown and protests brought about instability in the industry, with several trucks torched and drivers murdered, causing millions in lost revenue. Mbalula said given the situation of unemployment in the country, truck driving could not be defined as a scarce skill.
He said the law should defend South Africans in terms of what was a scarce skill and what were the jobs that foreign nationals could do in the country.
“With the Covid-19 situation in our hands, these are some of the things that we have to address in terms of our regulations and laws in the country.
“We have also seen other countries on the African continent doing the same thing.”
Mbalula referred to Ghana, where they have now stepped up the law to say that certain jobs were preserved for Ghanaians.
“It’s not xenophobic. It’s simply obedience to the laws of the country.
“South Africans must also equally do the same. There are certain jobs in the country that must be preserved for South Africans only. It cannot be a given in our society to accept that our people are lazy and don’t want to do certain jobs. We must regulate.”
He said the government was considering regulating other jobs.
“This is a reality we have to deal with. But we must move with speed also to deal with the law to ensure that we preserve certain jobs for our people,” he said, adding that it was important given the state of the economy and the joblessness in the country. The Mercury