These jobs have been added to South Africa’s critical skills list

Update: The department has uploaded a revised version on the skills list including a page that was previously omitted.


The Department of Home Affairs has published an updated critical skills list for South Africa, showing what skills are in short supply across the country.

The new list has added 39 new skills, building on top of the previous publication in February of this year.

The critical skills list from the Department of Home Affairs falls under the Immigration Act and sets out the qualifications and skills deemed to be critical for the country in relation to an application for a critical skills work visa or permanent residence permit.

New skills added to the list mainly relate to specialist medical and health practitioners.

The department defines these skills as those who “diagnose, treat and prevent illness, disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments in humans, using specialised testing, diagnostic, medical, surgical, physical and psychiatric techniques.”

“They specialise in certain disease categories, types of patient or methods of treatment and may conduct medical education and research in their chosen areas of specialisation,” it said.

This includes:

  • Dentists – specialising in community dentistry, maxillofacial and oral pathology and maxillofacial and oral surgery, among others;
  • Medical practitioners – specialising in anaesthesiology, cardiothoracic surgery, clinical pharmacology and public health, and paediatrics, among others;
  • Pharmacist – including industrial pharmaceuticals, among others;
  • Registered Nurses – including critical care nurses, midwives, and childcare nurses, among others.

The addition of medical professionals to the list comes after the Democratic Alliance (DA) earlier this year submitted an advisory note to home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi on how the list could be expanded.

The opposition party noted that there were several notable omissions to the list published in February, including medical professionals.

“Not only does South Africa have a skills shortage in the health professions, but the country also is not training enough doctors and nurses to shorten the health inequality gap,” the DA said at the time.

The DA has also raised concerns about a shortage of maths and science teachers in the country.

Along with medical professionals, several key skills remain on the list from February.

A summarized 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


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These jobs have been added to South Africa’s critical skills list