Here is the list of critical skills needed in South Africa

 ·18 Feb 2021
Dr Aaron Motsoaledi South African Minister of Home Affairs

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

The list is important for businesses in South Africa who are looking to attract skilled workers. The last critical skills list was published by the Department of Home Affairs in 2014.

Section 19(4) of the Immigration Act stipulates that, subject to any prescribed requirements, a critical skills work visa may be issued to an individual possessing such skills or qualifications determined to be critical for South Africa.

“Attracting the skills we need is vital if we are to increase economic output and get the economy back on track,” said Xpatweb’s Marisa Jacobs.

She added that in today’s sophisticated and highly competitive economies, countries are competing for skills to help them stay abreast of fast-moving technologies and rapidly changing business models.

A growing number of countries are using their immigration policies to attract these skills to their shores.

For example, Britain recently announced favourable visa conditions for much-needed healthcare workers, and Mauritius has introduced a special fast track for investment professionals as it cements its position as Africa’s financial hub.

“Government’s initiative to fine-tune our immigration system to make it easier for companies to attract the skilled people they need is admirable, and clearly the more data it has to work with, the more accurate the list will be.

“We’ve already had record participation in this year’s survey, which indicates how important an issue this is. We are urging companies to take advantage of the new closing date to make sure their voices are included in the process of compiling the final critical-skills list.”

It should be noted that this is still a draft list and that businesses and other interested parties have been given an opportunity to further comment on critical skills that are needed.

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 Dockmaster ICT systems analyst
Advertising specialist Draughtsperson Industrial engineer
Aeronautical engineer FET college principal Internal auditor
Agricultural farm manager Fraud examiner Investment advisor
Application development manager General accountant Manufacturer
Architect General medical practitioner Mechanical engineer
Chef Geologist Multimedia designer
Chief information officer Geophysicist Network analyst
Civil engineer Hydrologist Quantity surveyor
Data scientist ICT project manager Registered nurse
Digital artist ICT security specialist Web developer

In the gazetted document, sectors which are expected to recover quickly from the impact of Covid-19, or show signals of increased labour demand due to Covid-19 are highlighted in green.

If the sector within which an occupation is expected to recover in a moderate timeframe or labour demand is expected to be ambiguously affected by Covid-19, they are highlighted in white.

Sectors with slow recovery and lower demand due to Covid-19 are highlighted in red.

Read: 5 fields that companies are struggling to find skills for in South Africa

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