Finding a job in Pretoria

Work in Pretoria
Updated 2022-11-06 12:30

Pretoria, located about 50 km from Johannesburg, is the administrative capital and seat of the government of South Africa. The city offers a well-developed and dynamic business and tourism environment. Due to its economic growth, it is a focal point for the development of small and large businesses, and there are endless job opportunities in various economic sectors.  

The city is also nicknamed "Jacaranda City" because of the more than 50,000 of these trees lining the streets. Pretoria enjoys a subtropical climate with long, hot, humid summers and short, mild winters.

An insight into Pretoria's activities

Pretoria is home to many government departments that are headquartered in the business district: Department of Health, Education, Transport, Higher Education and Training, Justice, Public Service and parastatals.

There are also 138 embassies and high commissions in Pretoria, the majority of whose employees are based in the city.

Pretoria is one of South Africa's major university cities and has a large student community at its three universities:

  • Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), with over 60,000 students
  • The University of Pretoria, with over 50,000 students
  • UNISA (University of South Africa) is the largest university in South Africa. It has more than 420,000 students through various colleges and affiliations. It also offers distance learning and has several campuses in Pretoria.

Most of the research and development in South Africa is conducted in Pretoria by the Medical Research Council, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and the Human Sciences Council of Research.

In addition, Pretoria has a number of international schools. Teaching and research institutions may be a possibility for pedagogical profiles.

Pretoria's economy

Pretoria is a new pole of economic attraction. It is the fastest-growing city in South Africa. Its economy is dynamic, diversified and expanding. It is focused on services, trade, transportation, finance, community and government services and manufacturing.

The city is a major industrial center, known especially for its heavy industries: iron and steel. ISCOR, Iron and Steel Corporation, which manufactures almost all of the country's steel, is headquartered in Pretoria.

Pretoria is a leader in manufacturing, research, communications technology, electronics and defense systems and is home to the Centurion aerospace center.

Other manufacturing industries include machinery, railroads and automotive.

Automotive Suppliers Park, based in Rosslyn, north of Pretoria, is a 130-hectare industrial park that brings together various manufacturers, suppliers and service providers for automotive customers in the area: BMW, Nissan-Renault, Ford, Tata, Fiat, etc. This project was funded by the Gauteng provincial government to make Pretoria the capital of automotive manufacturing. The Nissan-Renault plant there mainly manufactures pick-ups designed for emerging markets and also produces the Renault Sandero.

Ford Motor is upgrading its Pretoria plant to increase production capacity and plans to create 1,200 new jobs.

The South African economy has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. It has experienced a sharp slowdown in activity and supply problems. It is now facing continuous load shedding by Eskom (the state-owned electricity generation and distribution company), which is crippling economic activity in Tshwane and having a devastating effect on all businesses in terms of production and lost wages.

Unemployment remains very high in the Tshwane area, and it will be difficult for an expatriate to find a job with a general work permit. On the other hand, applicants whose education and experience meet the criteria of the essential skills work permit have a better chance of finding a job in Pretoria. All the explanations on the different work permits can be found in the article "Work visas for South Africa".

How to find a job in Pretoria

For jobs in educational institutions, most publish them on their websites. For other sectors, job advertisements are published in local and national newspapers, the most popular of which is the Pretoria News, which can be viewed online. There are also recruitment agencies in Pretoria: Optimum Recruitment, Steiner, Only the Best, Asap Recruitment, etc.

Some websites offer international job offers such as Career Junction, PNet, Indeed, etc. Some of them are specialized in specific sectors of activity: Career Web for jobs in information technology and communication, Michael Page for management positions, and E-Financial Careers for jobs in finance, banking and insurance.

Expats can also start their own business in South Africa. The process is not very complicated, but you will need to make a financial contribution, which depends on the type of company you choose and respect the criteria imposed by the legislation regarding the creation of jobs. It is preferable to be assisted by a lawyer or a specialized company.

On the social level, the legislation is not very advantageous: there is no health insurance or contribution to a pension fund, and unemployment insurance is minimal. Employers are not obliged to take out health insurance for their staff. Salaries are lower than in many European countries. The work week is 45 hours over five working days, and paid vacations are 21 consecutive days per full year worked plus public holidays.

Why choose Pretoria?

Pretoria is close to O.R. Tambo International Airport and Johannesburg, which are easily accessible by the Gautrain, a regional express train system.

Pretoria is a young and dynamic city offering many activities: sports, shopping centers, quality restaurants, many monuments such as the Union building, Melrose House, Pretoria forts and museums such as the Transvaal Museum or the Pretoria Arts Museum, parks and gardens such as the National Botanical Garden and very good international schools. It is close to game reserves such as Rietvlei and Groenkloof Nature Reserve.

The population being less dense, the insecurity is less intense than in Johannesburg.

Useful links:


University of Pretoria

Tshwane University of Technology


Only the Best

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.