Xpatweb director Marisa Jacobs warns that the president’s Presidential Employment Stimulus (Stimulus) plan does not address the exodus of skills and professionals from South Africa, reports Businesstech.

‘There is no way to stop the valuable skillsets and qualified professionals currently leaving South Africa in droves,’ she said.

‘National employment drives and initiatives generally serve to create new opportunities for a younger workforce. While that prepares the next generation of skilled workers, it doesn’t address the present need for certain skills. No amount of novice job creation can fill skills gaps,’ she said.

Last week President Ramaphosa announced the second phase of the Stimulus plan to create massive employment opportunities in the country in a short space of time.

Jacobs said that there needs to be a much larger focus on encouraging Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) which would broadly boost the economy and help retain skills at the upper end.

Due to a high unemployment rate in 2019 Nigeria called on foreign investors to consider Nigeria as a prime investment location. Nigeria acknowledged that the only way to reduce its high unemployment rate was to create an enabling environment for foreigners.

Jacobs said that the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) and the Department of Labour (DoL) made it difficult for the country to draw the necessary skills.

The DHA will process General Work Visa applications, but would need the requirements to have been met through the DoL first. ‘Not only is the DoL notoriously slow…, but they have been mandated to protect and create South African jobs, whereas the DHA has been mandated to enable business to attract and bring in foreign talent to fill skills gaps. This puts the two Departments at odds when it comes to combatting unemployment.’