The Chinese telecommunications giant has about 90% foreign nationals at its SA unit, including all five top management officials
SA has sued Huawei Technologies for exceeding the number of foreigners it is allowed to employ in the country, as the government ramps up its rhetoric against immigrants filling local jobs.
The Chinese telecommunications giant has about 90% foreign nationals at its SA unit, including all five top management officials, the department of employment and labour said in a statement on Friday. That exceeded the maximum quota of 40%, the state said.
The department has filed court papers in Johannesburg, according to advocate Fix Bede, who is representing the government. It wants the judge to order Huawei comply with the employment rules and pay a fine of R1.5m or 2% of the unit’s revenue, whichever is greater, she said.
A spokesperson for Huawei said the firm was working on a comment.
In addition to affirmative-action measures to ensure companies and the government employ more black people and women, SA labour legislation also regulates the employment of foreign nationals to ensure legal immigrants don’t take up positions that can be filled locally.
The ANC has been cracking down on immigration since losing a large chunk of support in Johannesburg and Pretoria in the 2021 local elections, casting doubt over the party’s ability to maintain a long-held national majority in 2024. Two parties that gained ground in the vote appealed to an anti-foreigner sentiment in some communities, which has occasionally erupted into violence.
In November, the government announced the end of a more than decade-old programme to enable about 200,000 Zimbabweans to live and work in the country. Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi then said this week it would look at employment quotas for foreign nationals.