South Africa’s Department of Employment and Labour on Saturday said it met with agricultural employers in Robertson, Western Cape to discuss the alleged employment of suspected illegal foreign nationals on local farms.
This comes after Basotho and Zimbabwean nationals clashed over alleged competition for seasonal farm jobs on Thursday.
Western Cape Chief Inspector, David Esau, said there are no records from the Department of Employment and Labour showing foreign nationals were working legally on the farms.
Corporate visas should be issued for foreign nationals to work on the farms in South Africa and the Department has launched investigations into the allegations that foreign nationals are employed illegally at farms in the area. Said Esau:
In collaboration with the Department of Home Affairs and the local SAPS, the department will conduct joint inspections on all farms in Robertson to determine whether employees are adhering to labour legislation and following proper procedures when facilitating recruitment at their workplaces.
Several people sustained varying degrees of injuries in the fighting between the groups from Zimbabwe and Lesotho and on Thursday evening, a group of people sought refuge outside the Robertson Police Station for fear of being attacked.
South African Police Service (SAPS) spokesperson in the Western Cape, Brigadier Novela Potelwa confirmed the developments. She said:
Overnight, a sporadic incident where one group took ownership of the property of another was quelled by SAPS deployment and the suspects fled to a nearby hill.
Meanwhile, Brigadier Potelwa described as fake news, reports claiming that individuals died and children were hacked during the clashes.