Agricultural Scarce Skills in South Africa

scarce skills in south africaSouth Africa’s New Economic Growth Path was established in 2010. The primary goal of this Growth Plan is job creation. Five key areas are identified as part of the programme, of which agriculture is one.

To create jobs within agriculture, the industry must continue to develop. For this to happen, specific skills are needed.

South Africa unfortunately doesn’t have enough of the right people. This is why agriculture has been identified as an industry with a shortage of scarce skills in South Africa.

Agriculture’s contribution to South Africa’s economy

In 2013, agriculture contributed 2.4% to South Africa’s economy. This made it the smallest contributor to the GDP for that year. Despite this, however, agriculture is vital to South Africa’s economic well-being:

More than 600 000 people are formally employed in the agriculture sector.
It is estimated that about 8.5 million people are directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture for their employment and income.

These facts and figures substantiate why the Government would want to recruit foreigners to supply agricultural scarce skills in South Africa.

Agriculture on the South African scarce skills list

The South African government has listed two specific jobs in farming on the skills shortage list under agriculture:

  • Agricultural Engineer.
  • Agricultural Scientist.

Let’s look at what each of these jobs are:

Agricultural Engineer: An agricultural engineer “use their engineering and biological science knowledge to solve agricultural problems. They usually work with automated machinery, electrification structures, soil and water conservations, and mechanical processing of agricultural products, etc.”

Agricultural Scientist: Agricultural scientists “study farming and endeavour to increase productivity. They look for ways to improve quality, but in a less labour-intensive way. They also try to conserve soil and water and make farming more safe and effective.”

What does this mean for you?

If you are either an agricultural engineer or an agricultural scientist and you would like to work in South Africa, you may be able to do it. The means through which to do it would be a critical skills visa. You have crossed the first hurdle:

Your occupation is listed on the skills shortage list. This means you can supply much-needed scarce skills in South Africa.

It is only the first hurdle, as mentioned. There are more requirements to meet. These include but are not limited to the following:

  • You must have confirmation in writing from the accredited professional body, council or board recognised by SAQA or any relevant Government Department confirming your skills or qualifications, as well as appropriate post qualification experience.
  • You must have proof of your application for a certificate of registration with the accredited professional body, council or board recognised by SAQA.
  • You must be able to provide proof of the evaluation of your qualification by SAQA translated by a sworn translator into one of the official languages of South Africa.

The great thing about a critical skills visa for South Africa is that you don’t need a job offer to apply for the visa. You’ll have 12 months to find a job after getting the visa.

Once you are employed, you shouldn’t forget to submit proof of your employment. This should be in the form of an employment contract. The contract must specify the occupation and capacity in which you will be employed.

Contact us for help with your critical skills visa

If you would like to apply for a critical skills visa to work in agriculture in South Africa, we can help you make an application. You can start the process in one of two ways:

  • Request a call back and one of our immigration consultants will contact you. They will do an assessment to gauge your eligibility for the visa.
  • Call our Cape Town team on +27 (0) 21 424 2460 or our Johannesburg team on +27 (0) 11 234 4275 when you’re ready to talk to one of our consultants.

Either way, we look forward to hearing from you and helping you realise your dream of moving to South Africa. We have helped more than 9 000 other foreigners do the same, so you will be in good hands.