MIDRAND – EFF leader Julius Malema has called on employers to give preference to South Africans as the country faces a record youth unemployment rate of 66.5%.
“We want to stress to restaurateurs that no one should stop hiring Zimbabweans and say the EFF said they don’t want them,” he said on Wednesday.
“We want Zimbabweans to work in South Africa. It’s my house. You should not apologize for hiring Zimbabweans or other African brothers or sisters. In doing so, they must take into account that there are premises which must be favored at all times.
He spoke to reporters after visiting restaurants in the Mall of Africa in Midrand.
Shortly after arriving with a handful of supporters, he was refused entry to the Kream restaurant.
A manager told Malema he was not allowed in and handed him a letter. However, Malema didn’t agree and stayed by the door until he was let in.
“The Krem leaders apologized for their misdeed and blamed their legal department for someone giving them a legal letter not to hire us. But after hiring us outside the restaurant, they realized he didn’t there was no reason not to engage,” Malema said.
“I don’t understand why they refused to get involved because they had all their facts in order. They were ready to prove to us that they were indeed docile and tried to hire as many South Africans [as possible ]”.
Malema said Kream’s behavior was unfortunate but he accepted her apology.
“Our job is to ensure that workers’ rights are protected and that South Africans are given priority in employment. But that does not mean that our brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe, Lesotho, eSwatini and other African countries should not be employed.
He also visited the Ponto and Doppio Zero restaurants and expressed satisfaction with their compliance in employing as many South Africans as possible.
The party also raised the issue of compensation, particularly with regard to tips. Malema was delighted to learn that the three restaurants were paying workers more than the national minimum wage.
“Workers must be assured of a salary. They need to know how much they earn.
The party pledged to visit more companies to ensure fair representation in the workplace.
Malema said that although they are pro-African, the party has a responsibility to ensure that the interests of its constituents come first. In case African nationals are not hired, Malema said he would step in.
“We will be the first to respond when we learn that Zimbabweans are not being hired in South Africa, but there can be no exclusive situation that excludes South Africans. This point was welcomed positively and we are all in agreement. agreement that we have a problem of high unemployment and poverty which can only be solved by employment.
“We’re very encouraged to sing the same anthem and have eyes and ears on the pitch to let us know when things don’t go to plan.