Foreign Domestic Workers and Gardeners
The spirit and ambit of the Immigration Act is to guide, protect and provide regulations for foreign nationals living in South Africa. The Act also protects South African citizens in their employment search and employers must always give preference to SA applicants over and above foreign applicants.
For all categories of working permits the foreign applicant must provide the Department of Home Affairs with an SAQA certificate, which is a certification of the foreign qualifications in terms of the National Qualifications Framework. There are two instances when an applicant does not require an SAQA certificate and those are (1) when they are married to, or in a life partner relationship with a South African citizen, or Permanent Resident, or (2) where the foreign applicant has applied for and been granted a waiver of the SAQA requirement through the Director General’s office.
Due to South Africa having an unemployment rate of approximately 25% with the majority of the unemployed being unskilled and having at most school leaving education, the Department of Home Affairs would not be able to find grounds to approve a working permit for a foreigner taking up an unskilled position such as domestic or gardening helpers.
In summary, the majority of foreign domestic help is employed illegally and the employers should heed the provisions of the Immigration Act which include criminal prosecution and/or a fine.
THOMSON WILKS INC.