The Department of Home Affairs has published an updated Critical Skills List adding 39 new occupations on top of the previous publication in February 2022.
The list gazetted in February, saw an exclusion of medical professionals despite the shortages faced in the country.
The department said there was a massive backlash from various regulatory bodies, including medical professionals who were already working in South Africa under the previous 2014 list.
“In addition to those completing their studies and ready to move on to employment. Many felt that they had studied, worked and placed their lives on the line during Covid-19 times for the country and felt it in bad taste that they were then not able to move on to a Critical Skills Work Visa from a Study Visa, renew their current Critical Skills Work Visas or apply for Permanent Residency.”
What does the new list include?
The department said the revised list hosts additions that are predominantly focused on the medical and health practitioner’s field.
“These skills are related to professionals who either treat or prevent illnesses, diseases or injuries. These practitioners specialise in certain disease categories or research within their chosen areas of specialisation.”
HASA (The Hospital Association of South Africa) issued a statement that the nurse shortages in South Africa placed a hefty burden on the current nursing professionals during the Covid-19 pandemic, whereby there was an increase in the deterioration of working conditions.
Amongst other occupations, the following is now included in the revised list:
- Dentists – specialising in community dentistry, maxillofacial and oral pathology and maxillofacial and oral surgery
- Medical practitioners – specialising in anaesthesiology, cardiothoracic surgery, clinical pharmacology and public health, and paediatrics.
- Pharmacist – including industrial pharmaceuticals.
- Registered Nurses – including critical care nurses, midwives, and childcare nurses.
What happens next?
The department said to combat the shortages within these fields, Hasa has called out to the private medical sector and various bodies regulating the profession to fully utilise any skilled workers who qualify for a visa based on these professions to ensure functioning medical services provided to the people of South Africa.