Employers in the construction, hospitality and mining industries should expect more unannounced immigration inspections by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) in 2017 following DHA concerns that many foreign nationals in these industries hold incorrect immigration status and that these industries fail to employ at least 60% South African citizens.
The targets of the inspections seem to be companies that operate in a sector that is known for or prone to extensive hiring of foreign nationals.
Foreign nationals without proper immigration documents are assumed to be knowingly employed by the company.
What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals
Companies in the construction, hospitality and mining industries should ensure that their records comply with applicable standards. Employers should maintain their foreign workers’ immigration documents for two years following the end of the employee’s assignment.
Employees found to be working in South Africa without the appropriate immigration permission face severe consequences and their employers could face fines, imprisonment and reputational damage.