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South Africa plans to focus on encouraging investment, creating jobs and attracting skills

Naledi Pandor, Home Affairs Minister of South Africa said the department was ‘rethinking’ the immigration policy and plans to focus strongly on encouraging investment, attracting skills and creating jobs. She also said that by proposing work permits for international graduates from universities of South Africa, the department was thinking of further streamlining its strategies for scarce skills. Ms Pandor was speaking at a debate in Cape Town which was organized by the SAJBD (South African Jewish Board of Deputies) between leading business people and policy makers on whether, at a time when South Africa is experiencing economic uncertainty, the country should open or close its doors to skilled immigrants. Ms Pandor said that business and skilled migration are areas of international competition and the country should make sure its policies allow it to grab the best opportunities internationally. In the past, many business leaders have criticized South African immigration policies owing to the strict visa requirements which were continuing to frustrate trade in Africa and bolster perceptions that the African nation was not open for business. Ms Pandor said that many South Africans view migration as a threat to their business or job opportunities. She said that they are rethinking immigration policy and intend to have a greater focus on encouraging investment, attracting skills and creating jobs. Ms Pandor added that though their current visa regime already addresses these needs, it is necessary to refine their policy and implementation to achieve the desired objectives. She stated that they are considering further streamlining of our scarce skills strategies by proposing work permits for foreign graduates from South African universities.

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