Parliament - South Africa's affirmative action laws do not apply to foreigners working in
the country, Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana said on Wednesday.
"Provisions are made in the regulations for employers to record and
report on foreign nationals separately, however, they are not targeted for
affirmative action," Mdladlana said in reply to a parliamentary question
from the Inkatha Freedom Party.
The minister said the Employment Equity Act sought to eliminate
discrimination and implement affirmative action measures to ensure the
representation of black people, women and people with disabilities.
"The affirmative action part only applies to designated employers and
individuals from the designated groups."
Mdladlana was also asked whether it was permissible for an employer to
refuse to fill a post if a qualified white candidate had applied but there were
no suitable black candidates.
"Where a South African black candidate is not available for a post, and
if all things are equal, the South African white candidate should receive
preference," he said.