Q: I wish to enter South Africa in order to find employment. The prospective employers that I speak to tell me I need a work permit before they can employ me, but the Department of Home Affairs or South African Embassy tell me that I need a work permit before I can be employed. What is the legally correct thing to do?
A: You are not entitled to work in South Africa without a work permit. As such, your prospective employer would be incorrect. While there are many different kinds of work permits that each have their own requirements it is important to take note that you are not entitled to be in the employ of any employer unless you have a work permit in their name. The only exception to being allowed to enter South African on a work permit without having a job offer is with the quota work permit category. The only exception allowed with regard to being able to work in South Africa without necessarily having your employer stipulated on your permit is with an exceptional skills work permit.