foreign nationals

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Image: GCIS/ Flickr

‘Do not hire undocumented foreign nationals’: Ramaphosa urges on Human Rights Day

Ramaphosa has urged employers to “hire our people and treat them well” in light of protests against the employment of foreign nationals.

foreign nationals

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Image: GCIS/ Flickr

President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged employers to stop hiring undocumented foreign nationals in South Africa. 

Ramaphosa was delivering his address as part of Human Rights Day in Koster, North West on Monday. 


During his address, Ramaphosa said employers should “Employ our people, train them and treat them well.” 

Ramaphosa said when employers knowingly hire undocumented foreign workers, they are breaking the law. They are contributing towards social tensions between south africans and foreign nationals who either live in South Africa or have taken refuge.

“We should not allow ourselves to be at war with people who come from countries beyond our borders. It’s unSouth African,” he said.

On Thursday, chaos erupted between seasonal workers from Lesotho and Zimbabwe over alleged competition for farm space between the two groups.

Western Cape Chief Inspector, David Esau said there are no records from the Department of Employment and Labour indicating that corporate visas were issued for any foreign nationals to work on the farms. This prompted the department to launch an investigation into the allegations.

ALSO READ: Dept of Labour to probe alleged employment of foreigners

Ramaphosa said South Africa is facing challenges of unemployment but that should not mean that locals should wage war with people from other countries. 

“Once we do that we envole the spirit of xenophobia,”he said.  

The President also touched on the recent protests against the employment of foreign nationals. 

“Operation Dudula and all these other movements are contravening the law. 

“We must collectively deal with the issue as South Africans…let us be wise, let us not be violent and remember that we are a country of diverse people. Let us remember what the freedom charter says…South Africa belongs to all those who live in South Africa.” 

Cyril Ramaphosa

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