Intergate Immigration Podcast April 2012

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You can read the transcript of the April edition of the monthly Intergate Immigration podcast below.

Intergate Immigration Service – Podcast April 2012 Edition

Thank you for tuning in to the latest Intergate Immigration podcast. Our aim is to bring you regular updates and news concerning immigration to South Africa.

My names is Claus Lauter and today we are discussing the need for South Africa to attract appropriately skilled immigrants and the role government and the Department of Home Affairs needs to play in achieving this.

South Africa has a skill shortage in certain professions. A fact backed up by the opinion of many medium to large scale South African business owners. In this regards, it differs little from the so called First World countries of Canada, Australia and New Zealand, each with their own skill shortage issues.

Of course there is a global marketplace for talent in this modern era, and no longer is it just country specific competition for attracting these skilled candidates, it is now worldwide.

The challenge of competing globally brings new pressures on employers. They have to change recruiting methods, remuneration models and even work place culture. Even after getting all these right there is often one area, that they cannot influence, that has a profound effect on their ability to recruit. The ability to obtain a work permit for South Africa.

It is essential that government plays their role in providing legislation that enables honest recruitment of skilled labour to meet valid skill shortage areas. In addition to this, the process for obtaining a work permit for South Africa must be a transparent and efficient one.

A failure to have an effective work permit application process will have a profound effect on South Africa:

South Africa will struggle to attract quality candidates, necessary skills and professionals who will add to and enhance the economy.

Multi nationals, the suppliers of much needed investment and jobs, will be put off setting up operations in South Africa and entrepreneurs will look for other locations.

Rather than reinvest in their businesses, South Africans will also look for alternative investments, many moving their funds abroad.

No country can be an island in the attracting of talented workers and the work permit criteria and process is one of the main considerations of both employees and employers.

South Africa, thank fully, does cater for skilled workers and its current legislation also sees room for corporate permissions, exceptional skills and even general workers (where a position cannot be filled with a local candidate.)

All encouraging, but of course it’s the execution of these rules and regulations, the expedience of the permit application and the “buying” experience of the employer and employee that count. It is here South Africa must show care.

All South Africans look forward to the day when our investment into schooling and education pays off , when the vast majority of skilled jobs are filled by South Africans. But, only a fool would not realise that all countries, including South Africa, will always need to attract foreign skills and for South Africa, in its current economic condition, especially now.

The governments of the afore mentioned “First world countries” sponsor their immigration companies to go abroad and seek immigrants, they attend shows and seminars themselves and they advertise through media. They actively seek immigrants and support their immigration industry.

At times it seems, including proposed legislation, that the South African Department of Home Affairs, rather than seeing South Africa’s immigration industry as a colleague or even partner in achieving it goals, sees it more of a noisy neighbour or a niggling distraction that they would prefer not to be there.

This is, unfortunately, often extended to the applicants themselves with poor service and inconsistent advice too often experienced.

The Departments focus should be on service delivery and working with its immigration industry  to provide robust, ethical and transparent work permit solutions, not to alienate it. It should be creating a good first impression of our wonderful country and setting an example of South African efficiency to applicants.

The next few months will be interesting for South African Immigration. New regulations will start to be implemented, ongoing court cases against the DHA will come to conclusions, and the Departments future agenda will become clearer.

We can only hope, through the ensuing mayhem,  that the Department of Home Affairs remembers just one thing – the ‘poor chap’ only wants a work permit for South Africa and South Africa badly needs the skills.

Many thanks for listening, if you want more information on Intergate Immigration or immigration to South Africa in general, please visit our website, or contact us on You can follow us on Twitter and facebook by simply searching for Intergate Immigration.