Notice is hereby given that the Minister of Home Affairs intends to publish the new Critical Skills List of 2021. Interested persons, communities, organizations and institutions are invited to submit written comments on the Technical Report for the 2021 Critical Skills List by 16h00 on 31 March 2021. IMCOSA will keep you informed in terms of developments.


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.

https://businesstech.co.za/news/government/469194/here-is-the-list-of-critical-skills-needed-in-south-africa/