Home Affairs Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize said this week that she will prioritize applications under South Africa’s critical skills work visa category and continue former Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba’s general immigration positions.

Key Points:

  • Mkhize said that under her leadership Home Affairs will focus on recruiting high-skilled foreign nationals to South Africa, including prioritizing applications under South Africa’s critical skills work visa category.
  • Mkhize also indicated that she would broadly continue Gigaba’s policies. Gigaba left the ministry in March just as the Cabinet was set to consider comprehensive immigration reform proposals. The proposals may include the introduction of a points-based system for work permits, a new skills and education levy on employers of foreign nationals and measures to root out exploitation of legal loopholes by economic migrants.

Background: President Jacob Zuma overhauled his cabinet at the end of March, moving Gigaba from his old post as Minister of Home Affairs to Finance Minister. Mkhize, who previously served as Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, took over atop the Ministry of Home Affairs.

BAL Analysis: Mkhize’s stated intention to focus on applications under South Africa’s critical skills work visa category is a good sign for employers intending to bring high-skilled foreign workers to South Africa. The cabinet shake-up last month raised some questions about whether Gigaba’s policies would continue under new leadership, and Mkhize signaled this week that she would, by and large, pursue similar policies. BAL will continue to follow the proposed immigration reform in South Africa under new leadership in the Department of Home Affairs.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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