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South Africa moves to recognise Gaming Talent

On the 2nd of February, 2022, the South African minister of home affairs, pursuant to Section 19(4) of the South African Immigration Act of 2002 (Act No. 13 of 2022), signed the newly gazetted critical skill list into law. Under this new list, 101 new critical skill categories were recognised and additional details like qualification, steps and professional bodies needed for approval, were provided for.

The particular category that is of interest to Gaming/Esports talents, is the number 79 category on Multimedia Specialists.

The description of a multimedia specialist, according to the list, is as follows:

“Creates and manipulates computer animation, audio, video and graphic image files into  multimedia programs to produce data and content for information kiosks, multimedia presentations, web sites, mobile telephone resources, electronic gaming environments, e-commerce and e-security solutions, and entertainment and education products”.

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The above description of a multimedia specialist is one that expressly covers the electronic gaming and entertainment space in general. This translates to mean that, talents such as animators, UI/UX designers, video editors, content creators etc, are classified as critical skilled workers.

In addition to the above, the new list also stipulates certain rules that should be followed, before talents can obtain a visa under this list, and they are as follows:

OBSERVATION

Aside the description of a multimedia specialist, gaming talents have a wide net to cast, when applying for a particular critical skill category. Such descriptions include: multimedia designer, developer programmer, software developer etc.

The use of the word “Electronic Gaming” in describing a multimedia specialist, is what makes it unique to Gaming/Esports talents. However, the aspect of verification by professional bodies, is one that might seem unclear, as there is no express provision of a body for electronic gaming, under the professional bodies list.

It seems that in the absence of a professional body, a relevant Government department can fill that vacuum.

CONCLUSION
This new list will serve as a massive boost to the ever-growing Gaming/Esports industry in South Africa. Talents looking to get a visa via this list, must go through the checklist, and ensure that they have all of the requirements stipulated, and if need be, engage the services of recognised immigration agents.

Credit: gamesindustryafrica.com

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