Consultation/Public Hearings on draft National Labour Migration Policy and the draft Employment Services Amendment Bill in
4 May 2022

  1. Background

In 2013, the Ministers of Employment and Labour Sector (ELS) of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the tripartite structure under SADC Ministries of Labour, adopted an Action Plan on Labour Migration. The SADC Labour Migration Action Plan requires Member States to have developed national labour migration policies by 2019 and extended to 2024. The SADC ELS further agreed to two important landmarks guiding member states in their efforts to elaborate rights-based labour migration policies: the 2014 SADC Labour Migration Policy Framework and the 2014 SADC Protocol on Labour and Employment, which makes provision for migrant workers in its Article 19. Both insist on Member States' responsibility and leadership in formalising and harmonising national policies aimed at strengthening the governance of labour migration. The Ministers of Employment and Labour extended Labour Migration Action plan in 2019 to 2024.


In 2015-2016, the Department initiated discussion on the development of a national labour migration policy for South Africa, at the occasion of a broadly inclusive and participatory labour migration seminar and policy development workshop held in November 2015 in Pretoria. A vast array of Departmental staff (Headquarters and Provinces), Department of Home Affairs (DHA), Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), Treasury, Trade and Industry, Statistics South Africa, Higher Education, organised labour and business, civil society organisations and international organizations, were invited and participated in the exercise.


The outcome of this workshop was a Draft National Labour Migration Policy Outline, produced as the result of participatory deliberations during the November 2015 workshop. This document is seen as a first step, providing an indication of key thematic orientations and operational needs identified by participants. It is meant to serve as foundation for the development of a national labour migration policy.


Following bilateral discussions between the DHA and the Department of Labour  in early 2017, it was greed that the Department should develop a National Labour Migration Policy (NLMP), which would complement the DHA's White Paper on International Migration.

In 2017, the Department of Employment and Labour therefore started rolling out its national labour migration policy (NLMP) development process. Given the current context, the drafting of a NLMP as an area for State intervention distinct from other dimensions of migration policy represents the most suitable policy option and one, which marks the first attempt by a South African post-apartheid government to deal with labour migration consistently and comprehensively.








The NLMP has been designed to achieve the following:


  • Document current challenges on the basis of evidence;
  • Adopt guiding principles rooted in South Africa's core values and international commitments;
  • Identify national strategic priorities at the intersection of national interests and guiding principles;
  • Propose sustainable intervention methods and monitoring and implementation mechanisms.




    The Minister of Employment and Labour has launched the National Labour Migration Policy on the 28th February 2022. The gazette has been published for 90 days, from March to May 2022. The draft Employment Services Amendment Bill and National Labour Migration Policy are available on the DEL website.


There will be 2 national consultations, in the Northern Cape Province:

AreaVenueDate Time
KimberleyHorse Shore Inn09/05/202208:00
UpingtonMoon River10/05/202208:00




  • To facilitate the sharing of innovative practices related to labour migration governance, in particular putting into practice social dialogue by implementing a tripartite plus approach;
  • To disseminating information about the Labour Migration Assessment and the draft Policy with the largest possible array of stakeholders within Government, among social partners, within civil society and across SADC stakeholders;
  • To collect inputs to strengthen the draft policy
  • To ensure that the public is sufficiently consulted and to enable the Employment Services Board to adequately advise the Minister.
  • To provide clarity on the draft Employment Services Amendment Bill and the draft National Labour Migration Policy.




Frank St Quintin

Acting Provincial Communication Officer: Northern Cape

082 302 4771





Mr Anthony Senakhomo


Director Public Employment Services