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Concern at South African immigration legislation

Mozambican Labour Minister Mario Sevene has expressed concern that new South African immigration legislation, due to take effect as from 1 December, could lead to massive redundancies among Mozambican migrant workers. The new law imposes a heavy cost on the South African employers of migrant workers: they will have to pay two per cent of the salary of each foreign worker to a fund to pay for the professional training of South African workers.

The new law contains further provisions like, after ending his contract, a foreign worker must leave South Africa within three days. If he fails to do so, he risks losing any opportunity of obtaining a new contract.

Premier Mocumbi, however, claimed that the problems would be solved by applying the decisions taken at the regular meetings between presidents Joaquim Chissano and Thabo Mbeki. He said he was sure that the labour ministries of the two countries were working to overcome difficulties, and noted that during Sevene's visit to South Africa about 1.500 illegal Mozambican immigrants had their status legalised. "We have to educate Mozambican citizens so that they have the right papers when they travel", he said. "We have also given instructions to all our embassies and consulates to help Mozambicans in difficulty to legalise their situation". (Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique)

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