New Critical Skills List South Africa

Welcome to Uniglo financial and International’s newsletter. The letter outlines the proposed new Critical Skills List from the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa. 

What immigration changes are expected? A new Critical Skills List of occupations that foreign nationals are eligible to fill was scheduled to be released in April 2019, however, the Department of Home Affairs have not yet released it due to concerns and objections from Employers in the Private Sector. The new list is expected to be more restrictive than the list issued in 2014, however, there are many stakeholders advocating for changes to the list due to its limitations. 

What does this mean for expats and companies who employ foreigners? If the new list is not objected successfully, Employers should plan for the cancellation of some roles that are available to foreign nationals, especially broader business categories such as management and analysts.  The Department is planning on adding more categories in STEM fields  (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). There are also plans for introducing more oil and Gas categories. We assume that most engineers and technicians will remain on the Critical skills list as South Africa has a shortfall of experienced locals within the following fields: ITC, Electrical. Telecommunications and Structural Engineering. 

Expected Time ChangeThe government was supposed to publish the new list in April 2019, however the Department of Home Affairs have been very silent on the subject.

Who will it effect? Those with a Critical Skills Visa and Employers hiring expats within any of the Critical Skills fields. Concerns have also been raised that the list is being rushed through without adequate consultation – despite promises made by President Cyril Ramaphosa to overhaul the current visa system. Bonang Mohale, chief executive of Business Leadership SA said the draft skills list was restrictive – removing some sectors like architecture and reducing others like life and earth sciences. South Africa’s flourishing tech sector, which attracted new investment from the likes of Amazon and Huawei, has also formed a special task team lobbying government to include AI engineers and corporate general managers

Uniglo’s Review: The South African government is seeking to balance the precarious situation between attracting foreign investment and skills and employing South African workers. 

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