Career Opportunities for Graduates in the South African Government

By | February 20, 2022

Career Opportunities for Graduates in the South African Government

South Africa offers plenty of great career opportunities to its citizens and people who have immigrated to the country. The South African government employs more than 90,000 public servants from all over the world, and approximately 12,000 new jobs are added each year.

If you’re thinking about starting your career with the South African government, this guide will give you an idea of what kinds of careers and job opportunities are available in different departments, along with advice on how to apply for them.

General Jobs for Graduates

The first thing to do when looking for jobs is identify your skill set and experience. Look at what roles you’ve had throughout university that have given you exposure to different industries, job functions and management styles.

For example, if you’ve worked as a research assistant, then consider relevant entry-level marketing or sales positions. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to start hunting! Here are some of our top tips If you’re interested in working for a big corporation: If you want to work for a large corporation, it’s likely they will advertise their vacancies online.

Searching online gives you access to all kinds of information about the company – from their values and vision statement to career opportunities – which can help you tailor your application so that it stands out from other candidates. Make sure you pay attention to specific requirements listed on websites too; make sure your CV/resume meets these criteria before applying!


Diplomatic Service Commission (DSC)

The DSC is charged with recruiting, selecting and training both local and international candidates to serve as diplomats on behalf of South Africa. To qualify for entry, you must be a graduate holding a three-year postgraduate degree or an equivalent qualification from a recognized institution; at least 35 years old by December 31 of that year; able to communicate fluently in English; and have experience relevant to foreign relations.

The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA)

At DEA you will have access to a broad array of career options, ranging from conservation and research, through management and development of natural resources. This includes: policy-making; working with communities to promote sustainable land use; raising awareness about issues such as HIV/AIDS, crime and drugs; safeguarding endangered species such as rhinos and cheetahs; dealing with pollution issues that affect human health as well as our water supply. In short, your work will be about protecting what we have – it’s priceless.

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA)

The DHA is a massive department, which provides several different services related to immigration control and public safety. The DHA employs many graduates across many different fields including logistics, engineering, project management, finance and administration.

Dept. International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO)

DIRCO is actively involved in promoting international relations and peaceful co-existence among all peoples, nations and states. The Ministry serves as a focal point for dealing with foreign affairs and its function is to formulate, monitor and review foreign policy.

With offices both at home and abroad, it also aims to represent our country’s interest through diplomatic channels on issues of common concern. Working within a regulatory framework, DIRCO facilitates trade between countries by enforcing local laws related to business practices that help promote economic growth.

Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ)

Offers a range of legal services to all levels of government, from constitutional and administrative law through to commercial law. You’ll need a minimum bachelor’s degree and at least five years’ post-graduate work experience. Your background must be in law, but could also include other relevant fields such as economics or administration. The OCJ offers competitive salaries and is an upwardly mobile career with plenty of opportunities for self-development.

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF)

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) is responsible for promoting and developing a sustainable farming sector that contributes to food security and job creation. The ministry employs 1 382 people, making it one of Gauteng’s biggest employers.

Dept. Sport & Recreation (DSR)

A division of NOC & CSA, DSR manages sport and recreation facilities, events and activities. Those with a business management background can find jobs within DSR’s commercial departments, while those with sports management backgrounds should apply to its professional/intermediate staff. Jobs are available at national (provincial) or city level, depending on which level of government is managing sport within each area.

Final advice for graduates

Almost every job that you apply to will ask you what it is that you’re looking for. If you want to get ahead, be very clear about your goals and expectations, and don’t forget to explain how your qualifications meet those goals.

Furthermore, always remember that not all jobs are advertised, so don’t limit yourself to only those positions which have been posted. Use our available resources to discover hidden opportunities and reach out directly with a speculative application.

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