Hey ho, hey ho it’s off to work we go!

The outbound N1 highway traffic. Picture: Armand Hough / Independent Newspapers

The outbound N1 highway traffic. Picture: Armand Hough / Independent Newspapers

Published Jan 9, 2024


We’re hoping that our tourist season will extend well into April 2024, boosting the economy and leading up to the busy Easter period, known for its tourism and the delights of the Western Cape.

With the weak rand and fantastic weather, we expect tourism to become a growing industry and a valuable source of foreign currency. Tourism also feeds into dozens of other industries, relying on the diverse skills our country has to offer.

When considering which industries are poised for growth in 2024, we should acknowledge the studies conducted by various tertiary institutions and provincial chambers of commerce across South Africa.

One industry on a major growth path is, as we all know, the security industry. Due to factors like unemployment and poverty, we expect to see significant expansion in this sector. For individuals who are fit, healthy, and willing to take on a potentially risky job, this could be the answer to unemployment, especially for young people. All security jobs must go to South Africans, as regulations prevent security companies from employing foreign nationals.

The security industry also offers career growth and training opportunities for those keen on improving their position and skillset. Furthermore, it’s known for being a secure job that rewards hard work. Entering the security industry may not be your permanent career path, but it will undoubtedly provide you with valuable training and upskilling. It’s worth considering, especially for young people. However, having a clean criminal record and basic schooling are essential pre-requisites for securing a position in a security firm.

Similarly, while highly competitive, the defence force, including the South African Air Force and Navy, could be another option for those with relevant skills.

The tourism industry, as already mentioned, is another promising sector. This encompasses everything from guest houses to entertainment and food and beverage establishments. Tourism is doing well in both the Cape province and KwaZulu-Natal, but it’s also improving in almost every other province.

Game reserves also on the rise, and while they typically prefer local labour, those with relevant skills should explore this path as well.

Obtaining as much education as possible is crucial. All institutional structures agree that maths, science, and computer science are the building blocks of future employment. Many of the jobs we know today will be obsolete within a decade.

We are facing the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) and the rise of artificial intelligence. Those who want to be at the forefront of future jobs should not only aim to complete their matric but also pursue tertiary education. Note that 4IR is not the future; it’s happening now.

Likewise, artificial intelligence is not the future; it’s already here. Those with an interest in coding and algorithms are in high demand. Our computer-proficient youth can work anywhere in the world. It’s also worth mentioning that employment in the 4IR will likely mean more leisure time, with people able to provide their services from anywhere.

Even in South Africa, we’re discussing a four-day week and regulations for working from home. While requiring significant self-discipline, a four-day week and working from home offer immense benefits for individual well-being. So, focus as much as possible on maths and science, and the world will be your oyster.

* Michael Bagraim.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

Cape Argus

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