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Former Umkhonto we Sizwe commander, SanParks boss and Home Affairs director-general, Mavuso Msimang is widely recognised as one of the most level-headed people to emerge from the struggle against apartheid.

Now retired, he has been corralled by President Cyril Ramaphosa to do an almost impossible job and to speed up the process by which someone with a so-called “critical skill” can come and live and work in SA.

The problem is that there’s this list, and if your skill isn’t on it you can’t come and live here, no matter how good you may be at whatever it is that you do. The Critical Skills List is the produce of the department of higher education, the department of employment and labour, the department of trade, industry and competition, the department of home affairs and the South African Qualifications Authority.

So you can imagine what a disaster it is.

The latest draft of a new list wants you if you’re, among others, a farm manager or caravan park and camping ground manager. It wants you if you’re a policy and planning manager but not if you’re programme or project manager. Perhaps the list is merely a collection of the vacancies in the departments concerned.

Mavuso Msimang has a few months to make the application process faster. He tells Peter Bruce in this edition of Podcasts from the Edge that it's a tall ask.


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