South Africa’s list of critically scarce tech skills

Home affairs minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, has released the 2022 Critical Skills List that shows which skills are in high demand in South Africa.

The list is an essential resource for South African businesses, as it provides them with guidance on which foreigners qualify for critical skills work visas.

Such visas will only be issued to an individual possessing skills or qualifications that have been determined to be critical for South Africa.

President Cyril Ramaphosa alluded to the most needed skills in South Africa during his 2022 State of the Nation address on Thursday, 10 February.

“The revised Critical Skills List has been published for the first time since 2014, following detailed technical work and extensive consultations with business and labour,” he said.

“The updated list reflects the skills that are in shortage today, to ensure that our immigration policy matches the demands of our economy.”

Ramaphosa also provided an update on South Africa’s work visa system.

“A comprehensive review of the work visa system is currently underway, led by a former Director-General of Home Affairs, Mr Mavuso Msimang,” he said.

“This review is exploring the possibility of new visa categories that could enable economic growth, such as a start-up visa and a remote working visa.”

South Africa is losing substantial amounts of skilled professionals to emigration, and it is becoming increasingly important to attract talent to the country.

Critical technology skills

All of the critical tech skills in the published list require a bachelor’s degree or advanced diploma as a minimum requirement.

A summary of the critical tech skills list is provided in the table below.

Critical Skills List
Job/Skill Qualification
Chief information officer Bachelor honours degree, postgraduate diploma, or Bachelor’s degree
ICT systems analyst Bachelor’s degree or advanced diploma
Data scientist Bachelor’s degree or advanced diploma
Software developer Bachelor’s degree or advanced diploma
Programmer analyst Bachelor’s degree or advanced diploma
Developer programmer Bachelor’s degree or advanced diploma
Multimedia specialist
(incl. game and web development)
Bachelor’s degree or advanced diploma
Applications programmer Bachelor’s degree or advanced diploma
Computer quality assurance analyst Bachelor’s degree or advanced diploma
Computer network and systems engineer Bachelor’s degree or advanced diploma
Network analyst Bachelor’s degree or advanced diploma
ICT security specialist Bachelor’s degree or advanced diploma
Aeronautical engineer Bachelor honours degree, postgraduate diploma, or Bachelor’s degree
Aeronautical engineering technologist Diploma or advanced certificate
Multimedia engineer Bachelor’s degree or advanced diploma
Electronic engineering technician Diploma or advanced certificate
Mechatronics technician Intermediate certificate
Industrial engineering technologist Diploma or advanced certificate
Civil engineering technologist Diploma or advanced certificate
Mechanical engineering technologist Diploma or advanced certificate
Chemical engineering technologist Diploma or advanced certificate
Agricultural engineering technologist Diploma or advanced certificate
Energy engineering technologist Diploma or advanced certificate
Electronics engineer Bachelor honours degree, postgraduate diploma, or Bachelor’s degree

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South Africa’s list of critically scarce tech skills