Draft critical skills list published

Draft critical skills list published

Public comment on the draft critical skills list closes at the end of March

SOUTH AFRICA: The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) published their draft critical skills list earlier this month for comment. Interested parties have until the 31 March 2021 to submit written comments. 

The list remains important to the maritime sectors where scarce skills have been identified and have resulted in the need to contract certain positions to foreign nationals. 

Section 19(4) of the Immigration Act stipulates that subject to any prescribed requirements, a critical skills work visa may be issued by the Director-General to an individual possessing such skills or qualifications determined to be critical for the Republic from time to time by the Minister by notice in the Gazette and to those members of his or her immediate family determined by the Director-General under the circumstances or as may be prescribed.

As such the DHA recognises that it is necessary, in some cases ,to provide immigration preference to foreign nationals who are sufficiently skilled in areas where the domestic labour supply is not able to match employer needs, at least in the short-term.

Critical skills are “skills that are regarded, through labour market availability and analysis, to be critical for improvement in economic growth and without which certain projects and work could not be undertaken, as well as high-level skills that will enhance the skills pool in the economy which in turn will encourage and potentially accelerate growth in the economy. (DHA, 2019)”

SOURCE: Techncial Report on Critical Skills List (Department of Home Affairs)


According to the Technical Report on Critical Skills List - the list takes into consideration a number of reports including and number of audits undertaken within the maritime sector:

  • Operation Phakisa skills development roadmap for the offshore oil and gas industry in South Africa
  • List of skills development initiatives in Operation Phakisa Labs
  • Phakisa Aquaculture
  • TETA’s pivotal list
  • Saldanha Bay IDZ submission for OIHD call for evidence 2020
  • Coega Development Corporation: Sustainable Growth Strategy 2015 – 2020

Maritime-related occupations that are included on the acute shortage list include:

  • Dockmaster
  • Marine GIS technician
  • Metal machinist
  • Fitter and turner
  • Millwright

Maritime-related occupations that are included on the strategic priority list include:

  • Aquaculture farm manager
  • Harbour manager
  • Geologist
  • Hydrologist
  • Oceanographer
  • Naval
  • Welder
  • Boilermaker

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