Clash between locals and foreigners over farm jobs

Groblersdal

Bolsheviks Party of South Africa Leader, Seun Mogotji, says they cannot tolerate discriminatory employment practices, which favours foreign nationals over South Africans in Groblersdal farms.

This is after some farms around Groblersdal replaced South African citizens with foreign nationals as seasonal and permanent workers.

The foreign nationals are alleged to be undocumented and in the country illegally working for lower wages than those demanded by South Africans.

Following the replacement, the expelled South Africans outraged and threatened to go and forcefully remove the foreign nationals from the farms to claim their jobs back.

A meeting was called at OR Tambo Stadium in Dennilton where the now unemployed farm workers voiced their unhappiness.

An interim committee that will be dealing with the issue of undocumented foreign nationals was formed by community leaders.

According to Mogotji, who is part of the interim committee, the structure will be working towards the establishment of the local Operation Dudula Movement, which will be dealing with issues of undocumented and documented foreign nationals in local farms.

“Following the fruitful meeting, we have written letters to the Police, Department of Home Affairs, Human Rights Commission, Department of Labour, Sekhukhune District Municipality and Elias Motsoaledi Local Municipality seeking their intervention to resolve this problem,” he said.

Mogotji said the movement will ensure the elimination of possible xenophobic attacks as the appointment of undocumented foreign nationals could fuel tension between foreigners and locals.

“This issue comes at a time when the country is battling with the issue of undocumented foreign nationals. This is the reason we want to engage relevant authorities as we won’t take any responsibility on how the community might act when they visit the affected farms,” he said.

However, Mogotji said they will not fold arms and watch local people suffer without jobs while foreign nationals work for cheap labour in local farms.

“We want to do this in a proper way and use Dudula to remove those who do not have valid documentation to can work in those farms,” he said.

Mogotji said the interim structure has given relevant authorities 30 days to deal with the issue of undocumented foreign nationals in the farms around Sekhukhune District Municipality.

Thapelo Motseo

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