South Africa has asked a court to fine Huawei Technologies’ local unit in China for breaking local hiring rules and order the company to change its practices, it said. Friday the Department of Labor. About 90% of the company’s employees were foreign nationals, violating “employment equity” regulations that impose a 40% limit, the department said, citing a 2020 audit.
The department said it had filed court documents seeking a fine of ZAR 1.5 million (approximately Rs 75,00,100) or 2% of the local company’s 2020 annual turnover for the alleged breaches of the rules. .
“We ask the Honorable Court to grant them an order that they implement an employment equity plan that will restore the status quo,” the Department of Labor lawyer told Reuters by telephone. Work, Fikiswa Mncanca-Bede.
In a brief statement, Huawei South Africa said it was “committed to continuing to further engage with the Department on our equity plan. Huawei is committed to complying with local laws and regulations.”
The department said Huawei had obtained a permit under the provisions of immigration regulations requiring it to employ 60% South Africans and 40% foreign nationals.
He said Huawei employed far more than that number of foreign workers and planned to hire more.
“The Department has determined that its cause of action is clear and that all transgressions have been committed,” he said.
This is the first time the South African government has taken legal action against the Chinese tech giant, which faces US sanctions over allegations that the company’s equipment could be used by the Chinese government for espionage purposes.
Huawei and Beijing have repeatedly denied the allegations.
However, the Department of Labor has cracked down on a small Chinese company over accusations of poor working conditions and human trafficking at its Johannesburg factory. This case is still before the courts.
Huawei is one of South Africa’s leading information and communications technology players, selling a wide range of products ranging from mobile phones, smart devices, televisions and telecommunications equipment to cloud computing solutions and data storage.
It has not publicly stated how many people it employs in South Africa.