The discussion was prompted by questions from communities in the Ngaka Modiri Molema district in Mahikeng who had been invited to share their concerns about the state of their province.
Residents raised issues relating to crime, infrastructure, unemployment, an influx of foreign nationals, corruption and disrupted water services.
Nxesi, who was one of about 12 ministers who accompanied President Cyril Ramaphosa, was referring to an incident in January when EFF leader Julius Malema embarked on controversial inspections of the hospitality industry to cheque the ratio of foreign nationals at work.
The minister also condemned Operation Dudula, which started in Soweto last year and has since morphed and spread to inner Johannesburg and Hillbrow. The movement aims to root our illegal or undocumented foreign nationals, particularly those setting up shops and engaging in alleged criminal acts in the country.
Nxesi said the government has heard the complaints from South Africans, especially when some employers in the agriculture, security, tourism and hospitality industries do not employ locals.
“We are even starting to see this in the big retail shops, where they prefer to take non-SA nationals — not because they love them but because they want to exploit them and don't pay them the agreed salaries and benefits ... They are just exploiting cheap labour.”