South Africans Back Truck Driver Strike Over Employment Of Foreigners (Opinion)

south africans support truck strike

South Africans support the truck drivers’ strike in the country. Unlike the recent taxi strike, that not everyone loved, lots of people get behind the truck strike. People become irate as companies employ non-South Africans as drivers. In terms of the legislation, people wonder how on earth they claim drivers make up part of the highly skilled workforce. Especially, as unemployed drivers live in South Africa. It certainly sounds like the Employment Equity Act fails in achieving much equity in the transport industry.

South Africans stand for the strike because of foreign workers getting jobs

While politicians like Julius Malema of the EFF call for Pan-Africanism, South Africans want jobs at home first. They don’t want foreigners entering the country and taking jobs while unemployment remains high. Many people suspect that foreigners become employed as they accept lower pay. But technically, that scenario shouldn’t happen. After all, the country enforces the Employment Equity Act.

The regulations and returns mean that companies who meet a threshold turnover or employee number submit returns justifying the employment of their staff. The act protects “Africans, Coloureds, and Indians, women of all races, and people with disabilities.” And, if you ever submitted the returns, there’s a place where foreign nationals employed gets filled in as well. Between that act and the labour regulations, one has to wonder how so many foreign truck drivers get employed in the country.

The downside – genocide is real in South Africa

If all these people work for lower wages, and somehow big companies slip the foreigners through their Equity Act returns, something seems fundamentally wrong. Someone, somewhere probably isn’t doing their job. And, as anger mounts, unfortunately, people could get hurt or lose their lives. Probably everyone saw, at some stage, videos of foreigners burnt with tyres and petrol. Ugly scenes of killing and shootings on the streets happened before.

The country stands in an ugly mood right now. Not so much against the foreign drivers, but against those who employ them. And, against the government that seems uncaring about illegal employment and immigration. It only takes one spark and people could die. Set aside the crime and gangs associated with these foreigners for now. This is about jobs. Truck driving jobs. And even if a shortage exists, why not train more South Africans?

Foreigners in the country on valid permits

The pretty much open doors policy on people who fled Zimbabwe brought many people looking for work. Many of them applied for and got their permits allowing them to live and work in the country. They don’t carry South African passports and nor do they get the new special ID cards. But, having allowed them all in, it seems the “humanitarian” gesture simply took jobs away from South African citizens.

In fact, Zimbabwe’s unemployment problem now became South Africa’s unemployment problem to a large extent. It seems that unless the leaders of SADC actually start influencing African leaders to run their countries with integrity and fiscal expertise, the spinoff means everyone suffers. Instead of applauding each other in mutual admiration conferences, they should tackle the real problems of grassroots Africans across the continent.

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