2021 Critical Skills List published for public comment

Home Affairs has published a revised draft critical skills list and invited comment.

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has published its draft critical skills list for South Africa. The list outlines the skills that are in short supply in the country and was compiled following extensive scientific methodology led by the Department of Higher Education and Training through its Labour Market Intelligence Research Programme.

The DHA published its last critical skills list in 2014: the 2021 update follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement during the State of the Nation Address that a revised list would be published within a week.

The list highlights 107 skilled occupations which are in “acute shortage”. These occupations cover a range of business sectors and include diverse occupations from civil engineering technologist and web developer to computer quality assurance analyst.

The list is still draft form and businesses and other interested parties have been invited to further comment on critical skills that are needed.

Minister of Home Affairs Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said, “I encourage South Africans to participate in this process to ensure that the final list helps to rejuvenate our economy, as we continue to embrace the new normal.”

The DHA’s critical skills list report noted that the approach to its creation aimed to be objective and criteria-based. “Nevertheless, some subjective judgement calls are necessary. Therefore, decision-making processes are made clear, allowing for the list to be understood within the context of its criteria and judgement calls.”

It further stated that, ‘It is important to note that the list presented as preliminary in this report covers more occupations than those that will eventually be included in the final CSL to be officially gazetted by DHA. The DHA will narrow this list down further to ensure that all occupations for which immigration preference is offered to foreign nationals are those that are ‘most critical’ for the development of the country.”