South Africa flag for immigration update

One of the South African work visa categories is the critical skills work visa, which refers to a list of skills or qualifications that are lacking in the country.

On the 3rd of October 2023, a newly updated critical skills list was published, detailing the skills that South Africa is currently experiencing a scarcity of. The new list gave emphasis to two specific skills: Veterinary Nurses and Veterinarians.

Candidate Engineers may now also apply for critical skills work visas, which was not possible before, as the Engineering Council did not issue recommendation letters for this category.

One of the most challenging aspects of the previous critical skills list was that it required the critical skills visa applicant to submit a proof of application in order to attain a certificate of registration with a SAQA accredited body. Additionally, it also required from the applicant a critical skills recommendation letter, from the same SAQA accredited body, as confirmation of the applicant’s skills or qualifications. This was particularly difficult owing to the fact that some SAQA accredit bodies do not offer the services of issuing such recommendation letters, and in some instances, applicants could not find a specific SAQA accredited body in line with their critical skill.

The newly updated critical skills list refers to proof of application for a certificate of registration with a SAQA accredited professional body, where applicable (i.e., if required by law), or a critical skills recommendation letter from a SAQA accredited body.


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Ubuntu is a uniquely African concept that exists in communities all over the continent in various forms. The word ‘’Ubuntu’’ itself, however, has South African roots in Nguni languages such as Xhosa and Zulu, and means ‘’humanity’’. To South Africans, the philosophy of Ubuntu is particularly special as it was endorsed and promoted by the late leader of our country, Nelson Mandela, during his presidency. In the book, Mandela’s Way: Fifteen Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage, Mandela defined Ubuntu as, “the profound sense that we are human only through the humanity of others; that if we are to accomplish anything in this world, it will in equal measure be due to the work and achievements of others”.


This definition, however, cannot nearly encapsulate all the significance and power that this word holds. There is a tendency to trivialise the philosophy of Ubuntu to simply refer to being generous to our neighbours, when in actuality, it is the very foundation of any successful society. It is our values that shape us into authentic human beings and our inherent desire to be a part of a larger and more significant relational, communal, societal, environmental, and spiritual world. Another renowned South African politician, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, described Ubuntu as meaning “My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in what is yours.”


We practice Ubuntu nearly every day of our lives in ways that we may not know. When we show respect to elders, when we help our community, a neighbour, or a friend, or when we place the needs of others above our own in an act of selflessness, we are undeniably carrying out the spirit of Ubuntu.


South Africa sees a change of seasons during the month of September, as we transition from winter to spring. On the 24th of September, in the sunny weather, South Africans all over the country beam brightly as they celebrate National Heritage Day with friends, family, and delicious food. This year, instead of the usual braai, Relocation Africa decided to celebrate National Heritage Day by commemorating the concept that is deeply embedded in our heritage and culture; the philosophy of Ubuntu.


We took the opportunity to coordinate a clothing drive for an organisation that we would like to give recognition to. Sisters Incorporated is based in the same community as our head office, and for this reason, we reached out to other members of the community for help, thereby making the clothing drive a communal effort instead of a mere company project. We handed out flyers, spoke to neighbouring businesses, and encouraged residents to get involved in the effort. Words cannot describe the joyous feeling of hearing the doorbell ring and seeing the kind person on the other side of the gate standing with their donations in hand, or the warm feeling of recognising the good that exists in the world.


Love is not lost, generosity is not lost, humility and kindness are not lost. It lives here in Africa.


Eventually, the clothing drive evolved as we saw people bring in all kinds of gently used items of value. The staff in our head office began bringing their donations in slowly but surely, and members outside of our company overwhelmed us with the number of boxes of clothes, crockery, cutlery, crafts, toys, trinkets, ornaments, and so much more, that were being brought in. It was heartwarming to see the energy that everyone was investing into doing something for a greater cause.


The day of the drop-off finally arrived and the women in the office found themselves sharing the duties of packing the goods into boxes. Good actions do good things for the soul, and this is evident in the way that the ladies in the office were passing around ceramic cups and glass trinkets to be wrapped securely in newspaper and packed neatly into boxes, folding clothes into piles, and pointing out the fun crafts that would all be added to the donations for Sisters Incorporated.


The scene encapsulated unity, helpfulness, and companionship. These are all the principles that Sisters Incorporated represent and instill in the women that they provide care for.


About Sisters Incorporated

Sisters Incorporated offers aid to abused women and children irrespective of their race, ethnicity, age, or class. They work hard at providing trauma counselling for these women and upskilling them in aim to transform them into active members of the public. Part of their mission statement is ‘’We provide care – free of judgement, criticism, and bias – and aspire to empower those who pass through our doors, to become better equipped for their role in society’’.


Upon arriving at their gates, the ladies at Sisters Incorporated greeted us with warm embraces and welcomed us inside their office. We sat and chatted for so long that we lost track of time, with topics of conversation ranging from details of the amazing work that they do at bettering the wellbeing of the women in the community, to how our values align with one another’s, and the different ways in which any individual can help out.


We encourage our readers to visit Sisters Incorporated’s website, and support them in any way possible. Their staff is eager to arrange a meeting with any potential donors, educate and inform you on what they do, or even embrace you and offer assistance if you ever find yourself needing help.


They offer holistic care, meaning that their objective is to help the individual heal in every way that they may need healing. This means that they have an in-house social worker to help the women and children overcome the trauma and abuse of their past. With a staff of over fourteen members, and an equally sized group of volunteers, their personnel include two house mothers who rotate shifts in order to have someone on duty 24/7, in the event that any woman may need immediate assistance. They also employ a cook who prepares warm meals for the ladies and their children every day, three times a day. More importantly, they have an amazing workforce that is dedicated to teaching the ladies practical skills that they can make use of in future as a means to generate an income for themselves, such as sowing, beading, and crafts.


Sisters Incorporated would not be able to do the extraordinary work that they do alone. Each person plays a vital role in the success of Sisters Incorporated and their ability to provide aid to those in need. Every member of their staff, every volunteer, every woman that walks through the gates seeking assistance, and every donor, contributes to the mechanism that is Sisters Incorporated. They are a true embodiment of the philosophy of Ubuntu. In their story, and even in efforts shown by the community and beyond, lies every factor that Nelson Mandela associated with the meaning of Ubuntu: Helpfulness, sharing, respect, care, trust, and unselfishness.


According to the South African philosophy, a person who behaves in these ways has Ubuntu, and therefore they are a full person.


Ubuntu is the natural propensity of the human to establish connections and build upon them. In South Africa, it is symbolic of our ability to unite with one another in striving towards a common good, and it encourages us toward selfless acts. Ubuntu is the word for humanity in the native Nguni languages of South Africa, and humanity is a quality we owe to each other.




Learn more about the inspirational work being done at Sisters Incorporated or contact their unsung heroes to make a donation by visiting their website.




Read more on the importance of charity and selflessness in a similar blog, or visit our Knowledge Centre to access our exclusive blogs, newsposts, and educational webinars.




Facts to assist you while travelling to the Republic of Congo.


Population of Congo

  • 6 million.


Official Language(s)

  • French, Kituba, Lingala.



  • Central African CFA franc.

Office Hours

  • 07:00 – 15:30.



  • Saturday – Sunday.


Time Zone

  • UTC +1.


Calling Code

  • +242.



  • If a service charge is not included in the bill a tip of 10% is acceptable.



  • Most countries are represented by embassies or consulates located in the capital city.



  • Denis Sassou Nguesso is the president of the Republic of Congo and has been in office since 1997.



  • The Republic of Congo is situated along the Equator, and therefore has an equatorial climate. This entails that the weather is generally humid and warm. In the northern parts of the country the weather is hot and humid all year round, with no real dry season. While in the southern and central regions of the country, the weather is more tropical.



  • The main airport in the Republic of Congo is the Maya-Maya Airport, located in Brazzaville. Other forms of transport in the country include land, air and water transportation. The country has a large port on the Atlantic Ocean at Pointe Noire and others along the Congo River at Brazzaville and Impfondo. The Congo-Ocean Railway connects Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire. There are three main national highways; N1, N2, and N3.



  • The main industries in Congo that contributes towards its GDP include petroleum extraction, cement, lumber, brewing, sugar, palm oil, soap, flour, cigarettes. The country’s economy is largely dependent on agriculture, oil, and support services. Oil is another primary source of government revenues and exports.



  • The Republic of the Congo is a predominantly rural nation, as 56.98 % of the country’s population live in rural areas. There is a stark contrast between the way citizens live in the rural spaces compared to that of urban spaces, owing to the influence of western values. Rural communities in Congo take pride in their traditional way of life and tend to be more conservative. Congolese people are typically more formal when conducting business, especially with strangers. Politeness is emphasized and expected from all the members of the society regardless of their social status.



  • There are over 200 different ethnic groups living in Congo, each with their own distinct customs and language. The most common language spoken in the country is Lingala, which is also the lingua franca. Other widely spoken languages include French, Swahili, and Kikongo. Due to the multitude of languages throughout the country, it is important that when greeting someone, you use the appropriate language for the person you are greeting. If you speak Lingala, the most common greeting you can use is “Mbote.” If you speak French, you can say “Bonjour,’’ if you speak Swahili, you can say “Habari,” and if you speak Kikongo, you can say “Moni.’’



  • The Central African franc or CFA is the official currency of the Republic of Congo, as is for many other central African countries. The CFA is linked to the Euro by a fixed exchange rate of 1 Euro for 655.957 CFA Francs. The equivalence with other currencies is dependent on the fluctuations of the Euro.



  • Public transportation is only available in the two main cities, so it is advised that you hire a car if you are travelling anywhere else in the country. Driving occurs on the right-hand side in Congo, and it is best to drive an SUV while here due to the country’s driving conditions and roads. The rules of the road in Congo are not implemented, and citizens tend to drive fast and aggressively. Going over the speed limit is common, and police officers often accept bribes.



  • The Republic of Congo is a safe country to travel to. Petty crimes occur mostly in the capital cities, so make sure to take necessary precautions. It is better to travel in large groups, with a tour guide, or with a local who has experience and knows the areas. You will be required to follow the country’s health and safety protocols to ensure a smooth and secure visit. Although there are no laws against homosexuality in the Republic of the Congo, many locals and visitors who are part of the LGBTQ+ community have reported that they have faced discrimination and harassment. For your personal safety, it is best keeping public displays of affection to a minimum and avoid talking about sexual orientation to avoid causing offense.



  • The Republic of Congo is renowned for its diversity and rich cultures. The pre-colonial expressions and celebrations typically revolved around music, dances, and the sculpting of tribal figurines. Some of this is still present in their cultures today, but to a much lesser degree. However, colonialism inevitably affected the traditional way of life of the locals, and since then the population has adopted more modern cultural aspects, due to the influence of western culture. However, locals still uphold some traditional systems. Children are expected to show respect to those older than them, and girls are taught how to care for their younger siblings and assist their parents from a young age. Elders and leaders deserve the most respect.



  • The Republic of Congo has numerous stores, shopping centres, and malls that are modern like that of those in western countries, especially in its capital city. Therefore, shopping and entertainment should be no hassle.



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Written by Saudika Hendricks

Edited by Eloise Williams

Charity Starts at Home


This famous phrase entails that we care for our own households before anything else, and we prioritise our family’s needs above everything else.


We offer our time, money, efforts, and energy to the people we care about the most.


But what about the less fortunate, who do not have a family or a home?  Who cares for those who are left uncared for?


Mandela Day, celebrated annually on the 18th of July, serves as a great reminder to all of us about the things we often forget about or neglect. It forces us to take a step back, shift our attention from our own problems, and humble ourselves by helping a neighbour in need. Mandela Day is not a public holiday. Rather, it is a day to honour the legacy of former South African president, Nelson Mandela, his values, and his commitment to justice and serving society.


Mandela Day is therefore a call to action based on the fact that each individual has the ability to make an impact. It is based on the notions behind one of his most famous quotes, ‘’Today we should all ask ourselves: What have I done to improve the surroundings in which I live? Do I litter or do I protect my surroundings? Do I buy stolen goods, or do I help reduce crime? ‘’


There are numerous things that you can do for Mandela day, as long as your efforts are altruistic and intended to benefit others. Whether you help out at an animal shelter, assist a friend with applying for a job, or donate a few blankets to your local shelter. You may choose to spend money, time, or energy, but the point is that you are doing something for a greater cause.


The idea behind the Mandela Day campaign is that Nelson Mandela fought for social justice for 67 years. Let us start with 67 minutes.


This year, at Relocation Africa, we decided to spend our 67 minutes caring for the less fortunate at the Haven Night Shelter located in Wynberg, Cape Town. It is a homeless shelter that cares for adults, reconnects them with family members they lost contact with, and help them reintegrate into society. The work they do is admiring and their start up story, which is available on their website, is so inspiring. They are an organisation that was founded for no other reason than to be at the service of those in need, and the passion of their employees is evident in the manner that they carry out their care.


We took the liberty of preparing lunch for the people at the shelter and personally delivered it. The members of the organisation met us with warm smiles. Their kindness was so contagious, and we listened to the way they expressed their sentiments about the people at the shelter. We witnessed the beautiful relationships between the guests and the employees, which speaks to the sincerity of their deeds.


And while all this happened on the 18th of July, this is not about Mandela day. Mandela day is merely a means and an opportunity that comes around once a year and forces us to remember those in need. Instead, this is about serving a cause greater than yourself, helping someone without expecting anything in return, putting your own needs aside and prioritising the needs of someone else. It is about using the means, energy, health, and blessings that was bestowed upon you by the Creator to help the creation.


Helping others, especially those who are less fortunate than yourself, is not only beneficial for the recipient of the help, but also makes a positive impact in your community and on yourself. We often become so focused on our problems that we forget to acknowledge our privilege. Helping others allows you to step out of the comfort of your life and into the reality of others. When we partake in prosocial actions or activities, although we are tending to the wellbeing of others, we also gain the multitude of personal benefits that helping people have on our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.


An article published in The Journal of Positive Psychology asked 400 participants to report on how frequently they engage in different acts of selflessness and how meaningful their life feels. The results showed that participants who were more altruistic reported a greater sense of purpose and meaning in their lives. This is a fact that has been known for centuries, as even Aristotle wrote that finding happiness and fulfilment is achieved by ‘’loving rather than being loved.’’ Ironically, it is through giving that we receive.


Doing something for a greater cause helps to meet our basic psychological needs. It enables us to feel competent, to feel a sense of belonging, as well as allowing us to be more sincere in our intentions and interactions. According to another article published by Psychology Today, helping others is also said to assist us in regulating our own emotions, decrease symptoms of depression, and ultimately improve our mental wellbeing.


In short, volunteering your time, money, or energy to help others does not just make the world better, it also makes you better.


Mandela day merely serves as a reminder of the joys and reward that lies in being a part of something larger than yourself. Just because it has passed does not imply that our kindness should decrease.


Here are a few recommendations on how to give more meaning to your life, even after Mandela day:

  • Start small.
  • One person cannot solve world hunger or change the world but every day, small gestures could be more impactful than you could ever possibly imagine. Whether it is a loaf of bread or a kind word, you never know how significant it could be to them in that moment.
  • Make your helping count.
  • Not all types of giving have the same effects on us. If giving your time and energy to someone exhausts you more than it uplifts you because they are taking advantage of your kindness, perhaps find someone else to offer your help to. Helping others is more effective when you can see the impact that your actions have.
  • Show gratitude.
  • Being grateful for what you have and the people who help you can be just as rewarding as the act of helping others. Expressing gratitude can be a prosocial act too. When others take time to do something nice for you, making them feel appreciated can help build your relationship with them and make your life more meaningful, as well as theirs.


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Written by Saudika Hendricks.

Edited by Lize-Mari.

Ideation by Joy Jackson.