Work in South Africa

As a nation with an emerging economy, South Africa is looking for experienced foreign nationals to plug skills gaps in the country

However, the South African government has put in place the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (AsgiSA) to ensure the country’s economy continues to grow. The plan requires skilled foreign workers with a minimum of five years’ experience to be recruited in key areas, so you may need to spend time building your experience in the UK or elsewhere before you apply.

Areas with the most vacancies are:

  • Accounting
  • Agriculture
  • Engineering
  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Senior management and
  • Technical occupations.

Language requirements

South Africa is home to 11 official languages, many of which are specific to particular regions. Most people speak English, especially in the big cities, and this is the language that is commonly used in the workplace.

South African visas and immigration

Foreign workers in South Africa will need to apply for one of four different work permits:

  • Exceptional skills work permit – for highly skilled foreign nationals and is valid for three years.
  • General work permit – issued to foreigners with general qualifications and is valid for the duration of your contract.
  • Intra-company transfer work permit – handed to those who are being transferred to a South African branch by their company and lasts for two years.
  • Quota work permit – granted to foreign workers who can help address the skills shortages. It is valid for as long as you stay employed.


South Africa – Inspiring New Ways