Foreigners in South Africa who are working with skills considered essential to the country's economy are worried that the government will cut down the number of critical skills one needs to have, to obtain a work permit. Most of them have said that this action could force them to leave the country. According to immigration lawyers, a document containing a reduced number of skills is making its rounds among foreign workers. This document is marked, “draft confidential” in the copy possessed by Reuters. The lawyers are saying that the document is not given proper consultation and is being rushed through. Some of the foreigners are suspecting that this move to stampede the regulations guiding the employment of expatriates is reflective of a rising climate of economic nationalism which will not favor the employment of foreigners in South Africa. They believe that the country should treat the issue of blacks having access to jobs and skills as a delicate issue especially since millions of them are still living in sub-standard conditions 25 years after apartheid. As the unemployment rates in the country are hitting at over 27 percent and the inequality has become a top political issue as the national elections draw near.
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