South Africa is seeing a tech ‘brain drain’ – these are the skills most in-demand

IT service management company 4Sight Holdings has published its latest financial results, with the group reporting a second straight year of double-digit growth in revenue.

4Sight reported a 12.9% year-on-year increase in revenue and 3.6% in gross profit, with basic earnings per share increasing from R1.329 to R1.695 cents per share. The group also saw a notable increase in debt-to-equity ratio to 36.4% and net asset value climbed by 3.5%.

Other salient features include:

  • Revenue increased to R576,812,211 (+12.9%);
  • Operating profit decreased to R11,383,853 (-36.7%);
  • Earnings per share (EPS) increased to 170 cents (+27.5%);
  • Headline Earnings per share (HEPS) increased to 176 cents (+20.8%);

“The company also posted a slight improvement in normalised earnings despite the tough trading conditions experienced during the period under review which includes spending on talent management initiatives focused on retention and training of skilled and scarce human resources,” said Eric van der Merwe, chief financial officer at 4Sight Holdings.

Countering the brain drain in South Africa to retain industry and domain skills and expertise remains a key focus for the group, he said.

“Our learning programs will help solve the skills gaps in our industry, and 4Sight will become the first place people will turn to learn more about careers, develop new skills, retrain for new positions, and sharpen their skills.”

“Van der Merwe warned that a growing number of global companies are targeting the South African workforce to tap into the talent pool’s skills base and renowned work ethic.”

IT professionals and companies have warned of a growing skills mismatch in South Africa which has likely been exacerbated by the Covid pandemic.

Robin Fisher, emerging markets senior area vice president at Salesforce, said that companies within the South African tech sector were finding it hardest to fill vacancies in positions.

He added that the following skills are currently most in-demand:

  • Software developers;
  • Computer network technicians;
  • Developer programmers;
  • Computer network and systems engineers.

Additionally, the most in-demand skills listed by employers are in:

  • Cybersecurity;
  • Big data and analytics;
  • DevOps;
  • Artificial Intelligence.

“It’s not just the ICT sector that isn’t able to meet key digital skills demands. Organisations across industries are struggling to find the right digital skills needed to enable digital innovation, support recovery from the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and drive future growth.

“Even everyday digital skills covering expertise in areas such as smartphone usage, website browsing, social media and productivity programs like Word, Excel, and Google Docs are in short supply, not just in South Africa but across the globe,” he said.

Read: This change will impact every person with a mobile phone in South Africa: Ramaphosa

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South Africa is seeing a tech ‘brain drain’ – these are the skills most in-demand