Skills Shortage in South Africa and the Many Job Opportunities

In South Africa, there’s a growing skills shortage. Despite the country’s unemployment rate being at its highest in decades, many sectors are still struggling to find qualified workers. This is particularly true for skilled positions in tech, engineering and finance industries. At the same time, there are still plenty of jobs in South Africa regardless of the unemployment rate. We will explore what kinds of jobs are currently on offer and also look at some great features that make South Africa a great place to either further your career or start a new career.

The Current Skills Shortage in South Africa

According to Statistics South Africa, the unemployment rate currently stands at 33.9% (in the second quarter of 2022). Even with this unemployment rate, the skills shortage exists because there are not enough skilled people to fill top-tier jobs.

This problem is compounded by the fact that many of the available jobs require skills that most South Africans do not have. For example, employment in the IT sector often requires experience and qualifications that few South Africans possess. So, even if there are vacancies, many people will not be able to apply.

The Industries and Positions that are Most Affected

The most affected industries are those that require highly skilled workers, such as engineering and mining. This is because there need to be more qualified people to fill these roles. This shortage of skilled workers is also having an impact on other industries that rely on them, such as manufacturing and construction. The positions that are most affected by the skills shortage are those that require specific skills or knowledge, such as project managers, engineers, and analysts.  Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa and has the highest GDP, so looking for jobs in Johannesburg is an easy task.

What are the Jobs on The Critical Skills List

The Department of Home Affairs has 101 skills shortages on its list. Here are a few of the much-needed skills:

University lecturer

Transportation electrician

Tax Professional

Software Developer

Senior phase schoolteacher (grades 8 – 9)

Quantity surveyor 



Occupational instructor (air-traffic space)

Nurse educator

Naval architect

Mining engineer






Materials scientist

Investment Analyst

ICT security specialist


Food and beverage scientist

Environmental manager

Electrical engineering technologist

Data scientist

Corporate general manager (medium enterprises or larger)

Computer network and systems engineer

Civil engineer


Air traffic controller

Agricultural scientist

Here are Some Great Reasons to Relocate to South Africa

1. The climate is great.

You can enjoy sunny weather all year round in South Africa.  The average annual temperature for South Africa as a whole is 17.℃ (63℉), with average monthly temperatures ranging between 22°C (71℉) in December, January and 11°C (51℉) June, July.

2. Low Cost of Living

You’ll be happy to know that the cost of living in South Africa is relatively low compared to other countries. In fact, you can get by on a tight budget if you’re careful with your spending. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect to spend in South Africa on a monthly basis:

Housing: $400-$600 USD per month

Utilities: $50-$100 USD per month

Food: $200-$300 USD per month

Entertainment: $100-$200 USD per month

Pint of Beer in a Pub: $1.5 USD

As you can see, the cost of living in South Africa is very reasonable. You can save money by finding affordable housing and eating at home most of the time. However, you should also budget for some fun activities, luckily most outdoor activities are free. All in all, the cost of living in South Africa is quite low and manageable.

3. The Standard of Living is High.

The housing is of a high standard and private schooling and private hospitals are excellent.  As a country with many international residents and many cultures and languages, South Africa is a melting pot of friendly and interesting people.

4. Great Food and Wine

South Africa is the place to move for lovers of fine dining and wines. South African wines are legendary, with hundreds of wineries around Cape Town.  There are many excellent restaurants, especially in Cape Town and Johannesburg.  The quality of food is above standard and the cost of eating out won’t break the bank.

5. English Speaking

South Africa has 11 official languages but English is spoken everywhere, so you won’t have any trouble communicating with people from all over the world.

6. Beautiful Landscape

From the iconic Table Mountain to the arid Kalahari Desert, there is something for everyone in this diverse country. Table Mountain is one of the most recognizable landmarks in South Africa and offers visitors stunning views of Cape Town and the surrounding area. The Drakensberg Mountains are another must-see landscape in South Africa. With towering peaks and breathtaking views, this mountain range is perfect for hiking, camping, and even rock climbing. If you’re interested in seeing some of South Africa’s wildlife, then Kruger National Park is definitely worth a visit. This huge game reserve is home to an abundance of animals, including lions, elephants, giraffes, and rhinos.  South Africans love their leisure time and being outdoors.

7.  Lovely Beaches

Additionally, there are 1,600 km of beautiful coastline along the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, which also affords quality time outside, whether it’s for sports or leisure.   

Not only is South Africa beautiful and has a high standard of living, but there are also plenty of jobs available for those looking for adventure abroad.  Or if you are looking to further your career, this is a great place to get started.


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