... we are debating the Employment Services Bill. I have stated this, because it is important for all hon members in this House to understand that this Parliament is nothing without the people. It is important for the people to understand that this Parliament is nothing without people's participation. Through the democratic processes that we all enjoy today, courtesy of the ANC-led mass democratic movement, you, South Africa, have put us here. You have put us here to make laws that are in your best interests.
Section 8(1) of the Employment Services Bill states:
An employer may not employ a foreign national within the territory of the Republic of South Africa prior to such foreign national producing an applicable and valid work permit, issued in terms of the Immigration Act.
I know, South Africa, that some of you are deeply concerned about the issue of non-South Africans working illegally within South Africa. The ANC-led government is deeply concerned about this issue, too.
Let us work together - the people and the ANC-led government - on a solution that puts the love we share of humanity above a few people's lust for wealth. [Interjections.] Over the last 19 and half years, South Africa has improved to such an extent that non-South Africans are flocking to this country. Today, South Africa is a much better country to live in as opposed to the time when the DA's predecessors were collaborating with the apartheid regime. [Interjections.] We, as a united collective rooted in our mutual love of humanity, we as South Africans, must start asking: Why is it that non-South Africans can illegally gain employment within South Africa? The simple truth is that a group of people whose lust for wealth is bigger than their love of humanity is breaking the law and illegally employing non-South Africans. We cannot blame non-South Africans for this situation. We, who put the love of humanity above our lust for wealth, must never blame individuals for seeking a better life.
The cause of this worrying situation is the law-breaking employers that illegally employ non-South Africans. They do this because they think they can more easily exploit illegal workers. These inhumane, greedy employers use deportation as a threat in order to exploit vulnerable people. They are criminals that exploit in order to accumulate more money.
In South Africa, we basically have human trafficking of a special type perpetuated by greedy employers. What we have are vulnerable non-South Africans rushing toward what they think are greener pastures and finding, instead, exploitation and humiliation. Only as a collective, rooted in our love of humanity, can we put an end to the exploitation and humiliation of our fellow humans. Only through working together will we achieve more. Do not blame non-South Africans; the blame squarely lies with the employers who illegally employ non-South Africans.
The Employment Services Bill, in section 8(2), states that:
The Minister may, after consulting the Board, make regulations to facilitate the employment of foreign nationals, which regulations may include the following measures:
(a) The employers must satisfy themselves that there are no other persons in the Republic with suitable skills to fill a vacancy, before recruiting a foreign national.
This section is important, because there are occasions where there are no South Africans with the skills required to do a job and the skilled person must therefore be imported.
However, when farmers employ non-South Africans to be their labourers, to work excessively long hours and live in hovels and squalor in order to make more money, it is illegal and inhumane. When factories and offices employ non-South Africans and unskilled employees, pay them a pittance and sexually harass them, it is illegal and inhumane. When restaurants, hotels and retailers employ non-South Africans as waiters, cleaners and shelf- packers because they can exploit them, it is illegal and inhumane.
We call on the South African bourgeoisie to engage with their compatriots who are currently employing illegal non-South Africans to put an end to this illegal practice. I call on my fellow South Africans to be sensitive to the plight of non-South Africans living in our beautiful country. We are all people, we are a society and, as an African society, we must not exploit and humiliate one another.
My fellow South Africans, I call upon you to report all employers that illegally employ non-South Africans to your nearest Labour and Home Affairs offices. Brothers and sisters, I call upon you to participate in the implementation of the law. [Interjections.] Comments on Twitter and Facebook don't equate to participation. The first act of participation in a participatory democracy is voting.
In the upcoming national general elections, you have the right to choose between the former apartheid collaborators and the people's liberators. [Interjections.] If you don't participate in our democracy, then why did so many people suffer and die in the struggle for our liberation?
During the time when the DA's predecessors were collaborating with the apartheid regime ... [Interjections.] ... the ANC-led liberation movement was suffering untold hardship with the aim of creating a people-driven and people-centred government within a nonracist, nonsexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa. [Interjections.] Some of the opposition parties in this debate wish to see the government pass laws that allow greedy employers to exploit you, South Africa. The opposition want to protect their funders and not the people. Together, we, South Africa, must never allow exploitation of our workforce.
Without the people, without your participation, this government is nothing. Without you, my fellow South Africans, this participatory democracy is meaningless. Only through working together can we do more. I thank you. [Applause.]