Over the past decades, the world has significantly transformed and become absolutely global, and to a greater extent this applies to the economic aspects. Today a great number of migrant workers from different countries are not only considering options for employment in prosperous Western countries like Germany or the United States, but are also paying attention to the Middle East, South and Central America, and some are even interested in working in Africa. There is a reason for this.

Despite the significant gap with European countries, many African countries are actively developing, increasing trade relations, international companies open branches and representative offices there, which contributes to the creation of additional jobs for qualified specialists. Above all, we are talking about employment in South Africa. According to many reputable sources, this country is considered one of the most popular immigration destinations not only in Africa, but also in the world.

Work in South Africa

Jobs in South Africa for foreigners in 2024 are available in areas such as medicine, construction, information technology, finance, business, architecture, engineering, mining and some other professions. Finding jobs in South Africa is quite easy if you want to. The main thing is to be qualified and experienced, especially in technical fields.

Thanks partly to the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa has a good infrastructure, a growing economy, a medium-income population, reasonable prices for accommodation and food and a comfortable climate in many areas. In general, the country is very open and welcoming to foreigners. Further, we will learn how to find a job in South Africa, consider the features of labor migration and requirements for foreigners, as well as identify popular jobs and salary levels in the African labor market in 2024.

Labor migration in South Africa

The population of South Africa in 2024 is about 60.8 million people. The main difficulties of the country are unequal income distribution among the locals, high unemployment (about 30%) and, consequently, poverty, which leads to frequent strikes. Also, the problems of crime and corruption are not completely solved. It is worth noting at once that finding a job in South Africa in unskilled labor is an unrealistic task, this market is fully occupied by Africans.

In recent years, South African educational institutions provide quality education, many young Africans leave the country in search of a better life, which creates gaps in the local labor market and opens job opportunities for job seekers from abroad. Nevertheless, African authorities strive to provide jobs primarily for their own citizens, so foreigners have the right to take a vacancy only if there are no applicants among local workers.

To migrate to South Africa you need to find an employer in advance, sign a labor contract, and then apply to the South African diplomatic agency in your country for a work visa. This must be done at least 1.5 months before the planned move. All applications are reviewed by the South African Department of Labor and approved by the Department of Home Affairs. Depending on the type of work visa the requirements for documents may vary slightly, but the basic list can be highlighted.

Labor Migration in South Africa

Documents for obtaining a work visa to South Africa

  1. Completed visa application form.

  2. Passport, valid for at least one month after the date of planned departure from South Africa or visa expiration.

  3. Passport-type color photograph.

  4. Certificate of no criminal record from countries where the foreigner has lived for more than 12 months.

  5. Birth and marriage certificate (if any).

  6. Medical examination report issued within the last 6 months. Fluorography is mandatory, sometimes yellow fever vaccination is required.

  7. A signed employment contract with a South African employer and a certificate of company registration in South Africa.

  8. A certificate from the South African Department of Labor certifying admission to employment and a cover letter from the employer justifying the reasons and conditions of employment of the foreign worker.

  9. Education diplomas and certificates proving experience and skills for professional activities.

  10. Certificate of Recognition of Qualifications from the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).

  11. Sufficient funds to live in South Africa for the first time and to cover expenses in case of forced deportation from the country.

The South African authorities have provided an impressive list of work visas, including separate types for retirees and entrepreneurs. Let's look at the main types of visas that allow you to work officially in South Africa.

Types of work visas in South Africa

General work visas. General work visas for employment in South Africa are issued to foreign workers for the duration of the contract, but for a maximum of 5 years. Obligatory requirements are absence of candidates for a job among South African citizens and permanent residents of the country, recognition of qualifications, level of wages not lower than the national average.

Critical skills visas. This visa is issued to qualified foreign specialists with work experience of not less than 5 years in the deficit profession in South Africa, i.e. where there is a significant shortage of personnel among the locals. The peculiarity of this visa is the ability to search for a job within 12 months directly in South Africa and the right to move with a foreigner close family members. The maximum period of validity of the visa is 5 years, the document allows for future permanent residency in South Africa.

Intra-company visas. This visa is issued to employees of international companies in case of transfers to branches or representative offices operating on the territory of South Africa. The maximum period of validity is 4 years, allows picking up the family. Extension of this visa type is not provided.

How to find a job in South Africa. Search for a job without intermediaries.

Before making ambitious plans to find a job in Africa, you should familiarize yourself with the requirements for foreigners by local employers. Let's highlight the main ones.

How to find a job in South Africa

Language. There are 11 official languages in South Africa. Of course, it is not necessary to learn all of them. The main aim of the job seeker is to speak good English and ideally have an idea of one of the African dialects depending on the region of immigration.

Qualifications. Foreign diplomas and certificates obtained abroad must be recognized in South Africa. This is a prerequisite for taking a job in South Africa. The procedure is done through the website of a special organization, the Qualifications Authority (SAQA). Some occupations, such as medicine or architecture, may require registration with the relevant authorities.

Jobs in South Africa in 2024, mostly available in major cities, where most international companies and large African employers interested in hiring foreign workers. Above all, these areas – Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Johannesburg.

A large number of vacancies in South Africa are not publicly available. If possible, make a tourist trip to the African mainland and try to reach an employer. Former or current migrant workers can help you find a job. Visit thematic forums and social networking groups. Register on a professional social network, Carefully study available vacancies in South Africa on specialized sites on the Internet.

Popular South African job search sites

International resources for jobs in South Africa

South African newspaper sites

Contact employers directly or use a recruitment agency.

Jobs and wages in South Africa

The labor force in South Africa (employed persons) numbers about 9.6 million people. More than a quarter of the country's population are unemployed, most of whom live below the poverty line, meaning they earn less than $1.25 a day. Locals occupy the vast majority of vacancies in unskilled labor, and therefore low-paying, so it makes no sense to look for work in these niches.

Jobs and wages in South Africa

Skilled foreign specialists can easily find jobs in South Africa that local workers are unable to do due to lack of education, skills and experience. To this end, the South African Interior Ministry annually publishes a list of scarce professions specifically to attract migrant workers. Currently there are over 35,000 job openings in more than 50 categories of occupations, including medicine, architecture, economics, business, management, technology, and science.

Available jobs in South Africa for foreigners in 2024:

  • Health care workers, including dentists, veterinarians, pharmacists.

  • Architects.

  • IT specialists.

  • Construction workers.

  • Engineers of various specializations.

  • Teachers, scientists and researchers.

  • Business consultants, managers and financiers.

The minimum wage in South Africa was introduced for the first time on March 1, 2024. This year the figure is 27.58 South African rand per hour ($1.5). According to local statistics departments, the average wage in South Africa in 2024 is 26,032 rand per month (about $1,380).

Skilled foreigners can expect salaries of $2,000 to $3,000 or more. For example, engineers and construction workers earn up to $5,000, financiers and bankers up to $4,000, and managers up to $3,000.

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