The list of critical skills needed in South Africa right now

 ·4 Feb 2022
Dr Aaron Motsoaledi South African Minister of Home Affairs

The Department of Home Affairs has published its critical skills list for South Africa, outlining the skills which are in short supply in the country.

The list, which was last updated in 2014, will likely be welcomed with open arms by corporations across South Africa which may now fulfil the country’s objective of luring foreign professionals, says Moeketsi Seboko, immigration manager at Xpatweb.

“Foreign nationals may now establish whether their profession is in demand in South Africa and may be eligible to commence a career path in the country provided they fulfil the Act’s criteria. If you currently hold a Critical Skills Work Visa and your skill is no longer listed, you may be unable to renew your visa.”

Some of the most notable jobs which have been added to the list include:

  • Director (Enterprise /Organisation) Chief Executive Office, Managing Director- NQF 9;
  • Corporate General Manager (medium enterprises or larger) (Master of Business Administration NQF 8;
  • Programme or Project Manager (Master’s Degree (NQF 9);
  • Quality Systems Manager (Master’s Degree (NQF 9) Quality Control Manager Quality Assurance Systems Auditor;
  • Data Scientist Master’s Degree (NQF 9).

A summarised overview of some of the skills in demand can be found in the table below. The complete list can be found in the embedded gazette.

Actuary External auditor Nurse educator
Aeronautical engineer FET phase school teacher (Grades 10-12) Physicist
Agricultural scientist Geologist Policy and planning manager
Architect ICT System Analyst Quantity surveyor
Biotechnologist Industrial engineer Research and development manager
Chemist Investment manager Senior phase school teacher (Grades 8-9)
Chief Information Officer Mechanical engineer Software developer
Civil engineer Metallurgist Systems engineer
Conservation scientist Microbiologist Tax professional
Corporate Treasurer Mineralogist Zoologist
Economist Multimedia designer

“Whilst we celebrate this exciting news, we caution that technical guidelines on the qualification and implementation of the list are yet to be published. Once published, potential candidates will know with certainty if they squarely qualify for an occupation under the list or not,” said Seboko.

“With the release of the new Critical Skills List, applicants who plan to apply for permanent residence in categories that are no longer on the list will no longer be eligible. These visa holders must now reconsider an alternate visa category as well as their aspirations for permanent residence.”

Ultimately, it is critical for all South Africans to understand what skills our nation needs and how we as South Africans can contribute productively since the Critical Skills List is not just intended for foreign nationals but can also serve as a guide for matriculants in their professional pathways, Seboko said.

Read: How many South Africans earn more than R1 million a year

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