Remote working visas, according to President Cyril Ramaphosa, are a contemporary strategy for luring talent that will support economic expansion and job creation in South Africa.
In a media statement issued on Monday, the president said that remote employees of foreign companies operating in South Africa would have access to this visa.
He emphasised that the rapidly changing world, where working from a distance was possible, was the inspiration for this.
“With South Africa fast becoming an increasingly attractive destination for industries like business process outsourcing and customer experience, attracting more skilled workers will be important,” Ramaphosa said.
“Last year, for example, a leading international strategic advisory firm ranked South Africa second as the most preferred offshore customer experience delivery destination globally.”
Plan to generate 500 000 jobs
According to him, the government intends to generate at least 500 000 jobs in the business process outsourcing industry by 2030, having already invested over R3 billion in the sector’s expansion and growth.
“In line with our ongoing efforts to attract higher levels of investment and promote job creation, the new work visa regulations are a milestone.
“They are part of the high-impact structural reforms we are undertaking to improve the business operating environment.
“They send a clear signal to business that we are committed to attracting skills that meet the demands of a modern, inclusive, and growing economy.”
While acknowledging that the government has been contributing to the development of these skills, he insisted that there was still much work to be done before realising the goal of having the necessary skills to help create a competitive economy.
The vision was to see a competitive economy with plenty of newly created jobs and rapid growth, he said.
Shortage of labour
The president stated that the nation still needed to source high-level skills from outside sources because there was a shortage of labour in South Africa for companies seeking to hire management-level employees.
Information technology specialists, engineers, technicians, and teachers of science and maths are among the scarce skills.
Because of this, it was decided that the crucial skills visa was crucial.
Among other things, they would consider the applicant’s age, background, language proficiency, abilities, job offer, and work experience.
“International experience shows that employees with critical skills contribute to improved productivity, enhanced innovation, and the competitiveness of the firms they work for.”