The South African government has established Operation Vulindlela which is a joint operation between National Treasury and the Presidents Office to unlock economic growth and transformation. Operation Vulindlela has revealed key initiatives to address the key issue of economic growth.
With South Africa’s economic position under increasing pressure there finally seems to be a recognition of the importance of attracting certain critical skills and well qualified persons to South Africa. This is particularly important in trying to stimulate growth in the economy after years of bad policy, neglect and corruption.
One of the key initiatives relates to a review of the policy and framework with regards to the issuance of work permits for South Africa. The following key reform actions have been identified:
A new draft critical skills list has now been published for public comment. The public comment period ends on the 31st March 2021. Although there are some surprising omissions from the draft list, such as foreign language speakers, the draft list does seem more comprehensive than the previous list. The expected timeframe for the review of the Critical Skills List is March 2021.
It is hoped that a review of the regulatory framework and processes for work permits will address certain of the bottlenecks and onerous requirements that presently result in very long preparation and processing times for certain work visas. The processes for the General Work Visa, where approval is required from the Department of Labour is particularly onerous, and this has, to a large extent, resulted in the visa becoming obsolete. The expected timeframe for the review of the framework and processes for work permits is March 2021.
This is likely to result in new Regulations to the Immigration Act setting out the new requirements for certain work permits. The expected timeframe for the above is March 2022.
Operation Vulindlela has also identified key initiatives in order to encourage and promote tourism to South Africa. These include the implementation of e-visas, adding more countries to the visa waiver list, and considering a visa recognition programme.
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