Saudi services suffer under visa clampdown

Kingdom faced with uncollected garbage, the closure of shops and businesses and price increases
Saudi services suffer under visa clampdown
Saudi Arabia this month moved to clampdown on illegal foreign workers in the kingdom (AFP/Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)
By Beatrice Thomas
Sun 10 Nov 2013 11:49 AM

Saudi Arabia’s clampdown on illegal workers has resulted in a slowdown of services with the Kingdom faced with uncollected garbage, the closure of shops and businesses and price increases, it was reported.

More than 20,000 government schools across the country have complained of uncollected garbage accumulating in school yards due to an absence of cleaners after the grace period granted to expatriate workers to correct their status expired, the Saudi Gazette said.

A large number of workers had left the country, or were being deported, which had caused problems with services with many unable to be replaced.

The inspection campaigns have also caused many workers to stay home fearing arrests and imprisonment, the Gazette said.

Schools have found themselves in a difficult situation with both students and parents complaining about the health risk the garbage poses to students’ health.

The Gazette report said it contacted the Ministry of Education’s spokesman, Mohammad Al Dekhaini, but he refused to comment.

However, it quoted sources in the Ministry of Education as saying the ministry was planning to sign a contract with a specialised cleaning company.

Residents and citizens alike found that the restaurants and cafes they frequented were either closed or being operated on a self-service basis.

Abeer, a young Saudi woman, had to quit her job as she could not find a substitute driver to take her to and from work.

“I’ve decided to stay at home and am content with my SR500 ($133) monthly allowance from my father,” she said.

Recent statistics show that in 2013, there were a total of 629,000 unemployed Saudis. However, many had degrees and were not keen to work in labour-intensive jobs.

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