Clampdown on illegal immigrant employment

2018-06-12 06:00
Kenzy Mswamba, who is originally from Nigeria, works as a car guard in Durban.PHOTO: phindile shozi

Kenzy Mswamba, who is originally from Nigeria, works as a car guard in Durban.PHOTO: phindile shozi

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THE Department of Home Affairs has announced that it will be clamping down on the employment of illegal immigrants.

Marisa Jacobs, who’s an immigration specialist at Xpatweb, said that considering the recent arrests that have been made, HR professionals, managers, business owners and CEOs need to make sure that systems are in place to ensure that expatriates are legally employed within their business.

“The Department of Home Affairs has warned that it will be increasing the number of audits and investigations among South Africans who employ foreign nationals. This isn’t an empty threat and it is clamping down on foreign nationals who contravene the act as well as employers who are illegally employing foreigners. Anyone who is deemed responsible for the appointment of the person could face repercussions, which mean that everyone from HR managers to CEOs could face fines or imprisonment,” said Jacobs in a statement.

However, foreign nationals hope that these sentiments are not being taken out of context and do not amount to xenophobic attacks on all. Kenzy Mswamba, originally from Nigeria, who works as a car guard in Durban, said he left his country due to poverty and came to South Africa to better his life. “Life was never easy back at home because [sometimes] I would go to bed on an empty stomach and it wasn’t easy getting a job.”

He said that although he earns a minimal amount, he is earning an honest living and hopes that people do not get the wrong impression from the department’s statements and target all foreign employees. “I fought so hard to fit in and it was very hard getting a job anywhere and after a few years of struggling I was lucky enough to meet a Good Samaritan, who asked if I’m willing to work as a car guard and I agreed. That was a start to a new life for me. I’ve been a car guard for three years now and I’ve never been involved in any criminal activities as I don’t want to disappoint the good man who found me this job,” said Mswamba.

He urged other foreign nationals to have all the necessary papers to be in this country.

“It is not easy for us foreigners to leave our homes and families to move to South Africa. However, we have no other choice. I appeal to readers to please not ‘blacklist’ all of us. Some of us have all the paper work to be here. We need the jobs to support our families,” he said.

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