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DA says EFF restaurant inspection visits are 'workplace terrorism'

EFF leader Julius Malema wants hospitality companies and restaurants to employ more South Africans, particularly those from their area or province. File image.
EFF leader Julius Malema wants hospitality companies and restaurants to employ more South Africans, particularly those from their area or province. File image.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi

The DA has criticised EFF visits to restaurants to check the employment ratio of foreign nationals against locals, saying it is “workplace terrorism” that should be condemned.

EFF leaders planned on Wednesday to visit businesses in Midrand, Gauteng, to ask management to provide them with a report to assess how many of their staff were foreign nationals and how many were South Africans.

According to the EFF, the visits are meant to check “labour policies, staff complement and ensure that our fellow Africans are not exploited and locals are employed at a satisfactory level”.

However, DA shadow minister of employment and labour Michael Cardo said the EFF  programme was a desperate exercise in xenophobic, political grandstanding masquerading as legislative oversight. 

“The idea that Julius Malema has the authority to impose himself on a private employer — armed, like an apartheid-era labour inspector with a clipboard and a kit to conduct a kind of pencil-test — is both laughable and dangerous,” he said.

The EFF has argued that the food service industry tended to hire foreign nationals who were prone to exploitation at the exclusion of locals, leading to tensions that often result in xenophobia. 

But the DA is not convinced and, according to Cardo, the EFF approach was that of a  populist party with little or no coherent policies that would seemingly do anything to attract attention, with scant regard for the rule of law.

“Unfortunately, this is just another staged event in the EFF’s ongoing campaign of throwing its weight about the workplace, even though it has no legal standing or right to do so,” he said.

Cardo lambasted the EFF labour desk, suggesting it was fronting as a trade union that served to undermine and destabilise labour relations.

“The party has resorted to issuing ultimatums, intimidating employers, and threatening workplace safety if their demands are not met.

“Frankly, the ANC is complicit in creating a culture conducive to xenophobia by continually targeting and scapegoating foreign nationals in the workplace.”

He called on the government to distance itself from EFF theatrics and lay down the law on political parties acting as labour inspectors and trade unions.

TimesLIVE


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