Executive Summary

The Harambee Mapping of Digital and ICT Roles and Demand for South Africa Survey takes a deep dive into the critical roles to support growth in the digital economy, as well as the size and nature of offshoring of digital demand outside of South Africa. The survey identifies what roles, functions and competencies are in demand with granular detail, as well as which certifications are most needed by employers.


The survey also:

  • Provides detailed clarity of the nature and extent of local digital jobs in high demand and an indication of more reliable and consistent predictors for success. This includes what to screen for, what to assess for and what to train for in order for workers to be adequately prepared and ready for the digital economy.
  • Provides pertinent insights that enable more realistic and inclusive hiring[1] and development practices.
  • Enables a deeper understanding of the nature and extent of South African companies outsourcing work to foreign markets, while concurrently providing insights as to how the country can create new digital jobs through bringing this work back to South Africa.
  • Creates an evidence base to drive ICT policy changes in South Africa in areas such as credentialing and incentives for reshoring work back to the country.


This is research on the demand side and employer perspectives and not that of training organisations and young people. There is potential for additional research on other stakeholders’ experience in preparing young people for these roles and what the key levers are for change.

“The advent of technological innovation has for many years been the single biggest driver reshaping how we think about work, what constitutes work, and the skills we will need to be productive contributors in the future. More recently the global COVID19 pandemic accelerated the need for digitalisation as the workplace faces challenges that were never seen before, and requires skill-sets that meet the criteria of digital workplace demands, many of which do not exist. This is expected to accelerate as the country is further catapulted into the 4iR. Public and private sector need to earnestly rearrange their approach to education and continuous learning to accommodate this shift.”
Juanita Clark, CEO at Digital Council Africa

[1] Inclusive hiring practices refers to processes of recruitment which do not exclude those who have not had the privilege of a private schooling or tertiary education and would usually not be given a chance. Inclusive hiring candidates are aged between 18 and 35 years of age, are a South African citizen and living in a poor household and community with low or no levels of employment – therefore excluded from participation in the formal economy. Traditional hiring practices which put up barriers in the form of multiple qualifications or work experience which is not actually necessary for the role are often exclusionary.