How Many Skilled Professionals Are Leaving South Africa Every Day?

There has been a major increase in skilled professionals leaving the country as South Africa faces continued uncertainty.

Speaking to eNCA, Sable International’s Andrew Rissik said that people are leaving for many reasons – with two of the biggest reasons being economic uncertainty and crime.

“We are looking at around 25,000 skilled people leaving South Africa each year, with around 1,000 – 2,000 of these people also being very wealthy people who are able to buy their way into other countries.

“These are potentially very high-quality taxpayers that South Africa is losing,” said Rissik.

This averages out to around 68 skilled people, and between two and five ultra-wealthy South Africans, leaving the country every day.

“What we see is that a lot of people with young children tend to start getting pulled back to South Africa because of family links.

“Although we have seen this (trend) slow compared to the past decade because of the economic situation in South Africa as we know it – it’s really pretty negative at the moment.”

Rissik added that as long as these ‘push factors’ are present, people will continue to leave.

Popular destinations

The Department of Home Affairs does not keep record of South Africans who emigrate permanently; however, receiver countries do keep track of immigrants, which gives an indication of how many people are actually leaving.

This data shows that the UK is still the most popular choice for South African immigrants, while a growing number are also choosing to settle in Australia and New Zealand.

  1. New Zealand: The latest data from Stats NZ shows that there has been a sharp rise in South African migrants, with 8,200 people moving to the country between April 2018 and April 2019;
  2. Australia: The latest immigration data from Australia shows that a total of 5,397 South Africans moved in 2016/17 time period and 2,907 South Africans over the 2017/2018 period;
  3. UK: At the beginning of January, statistics provided to City Press by UK’s Office for National Statistics showed that approximately 7,300 people emigrated from South Africa to the UK in 2017

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: Ross Parmly [1], [2].

SA Students Vie for R15m Business Start-up Prize

A group of SA students is hoping to bag a R15m capital injection from the UK where they are participating in the Hult Prize Accelerator programme.

The four students – Nobuhle Ndebele, 24, Lindokuhle Nene, 25, Reitumetse Nkhahle, 26, and Gauta Matlou, 29 – all PhD chemistry students at Rhodes University in Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown) – are on a quest to win a $1m (R14.7m) cash prize to fund their start-up company.

They will spend eight weeks in the UK preparing for the final pitch competition where the best business idea will win.

The Hult Prize challenges innovative university and college students from across the world to a social entrepreneurship start-up that will create 10,000-plus meaningful jobs in the next decade.

The four, known as Team E-Smart, won the regional Hult Prize at Brookhouse International School in Nairobi, Kenya, with their business model to develop an idea to provide meaningful work for young people within the next decade.

Rhodes University chemistry PhD students Gauta Matlou, Nobuhle Ndebele, Reitumetse Nkhahle, and Lindokuhle Nene.

Their idea is to create job opportunities for the youth through the collection of electronics and electrical waste materials for further recycling, repairing or re-purposing into new market products.

Speaking on behalf of Team E-Smart, Matlou said they had been introduced to influential people.

“We are excited that we have made it this far in the programme. The real work has just started and we have already been assigned with our own mentor Ryan Reigg.

“At the moment our challenge is achieving or sealing business partnerships into our business. We need to get partners who will be willing to buy our products in the future.

“That will show the judges that we will be able to run and m aintain this business should we get the prize,” he said.

“There are currently 39 teams from across the world. Ours now is to fight for the top- six position by improving our business model and demonstrate to the judges how we will create 10,000 meaningful jobs for the disconnected youth in our E-waste business. We need to impress the mentors, experts and judges.”

According to Team E-Smart, SA produces about 316,000 tons of electronic waste and only 12% is collected and recycled, which is then exported to other countries.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

All-woman Panel to Select Seedstars Nairobi Winner From 10 Kenyan Startups

Seedstars World, one of the world’s largest startup competitions, has selected 10 Kenyan startups to pitch at Seedstars Nairobi this Friday (28 June).

The sixth edition of Seedstars Nairobi will be hosted by Nailab and the 10 will appear — for the first time in a Seedstars pitch — in front of an all-women judging panel.

Seedstars said this year’s pitching competition will be a closed-door event, and will also for the first time have an all women jury panel to select the most promising startup.

Seedstars regional manager for Africa Claudia Makadristo explained in a statement today that it is part of the competition’s efforts to increase women participation on all levels, including for its mentors, experts, startups and jury (see this story and this Q&A for more).

“We are extremely excited to work with this jury panel on selecting the most promising startup in Nairobi and we believe that the closed-door event format will allow us to ask some more sensitive and in-depth questions to the entrepreneurs,” said Makadristo.

The jury consists of Makadristo as well as Financial Sector Deepening Africa Investments CIO Anne-Marie Chidzero, East Africa Private Equity and Venture Capital Association executive director Eva Warigia, AHL Venture Partners portfolio manager Tsakane Ngoepe, Zephyr Acorn investment consultant Wanjiru Chabeda and LGT Impact associate director Winnie Ibuyako.

The startup that wins the event will receive an all-inclusive trip to represent Kenya at the Seedstars Africa Summit.

In addition the Seedstars Nairobi winner will also be in the standing to win a spot at the Seedstars Global Summit in Switzerland where the winner will take home a $500 000 investment prize, as well as three months access to an investment readiness programme.

Angel investor meetup

Seedstars also announced that prior to the event it will, in collaboration with the African Business Angel Network (Aban), host a four-hour long angel investor meetup.

The event, it said, will be a unique opportunity for investors to network, gain key insights, knowledge, as well as access to Seedstars and ABAN deal flow.

The 10 startups selected to pitch at the event operate in the fintech, medtech, agritech, logistics and blockchain verticals. They are:

  1. Ilara Health: Ilara Health makes common diagnostics accessible and affordable to the 500 million people in Africa who today struggle to access even basic blood tests.
  2. Julla: Julla is a point of sale financing company that enables users to purchase items now and pay later.
  3. Lentera: Lentera combines data from ground sensors, drone imaging and satellite imaging to provide actionable insights to help farmers increase their yield and reduce the cost of fertiliser and pesticides.
  4. Nurse-In-Hand: Nurse-in-Hand partners with county governments to offer first responder and home-based care services to geriatrics and pregnant mothers in Kenya.
  5. Pesabase: Pesabase is set of remittance, payment and banking solutions that use the blockchain to provide financial simplification and inclusion in Africa.
  6. Pezesha: Pezesha is a digital financial marketplace that facilitates credit scoring and affordable credit for the un-banked by connecting them with lenders.
  7. Shamba Records: Shamba Records is a distributed ledger that runs on Blockchain and uses big data and artificial intelligence to collect farm records. This digitised system can be used to track, identify and verify their harvest.
  8. Smatbeba: Smatbeba has developed a cargo hailing application and web-interface that links cargo owners to delivery vehicles.
  9. WorkPay: Workpay is an employee management and payment solution with features that include biometrics, automated salary payments to banks and mobile wallets.
  10. Tanda: This fintech startup aims to revolutionise access to goods and essential digital financial services for small businesses cross Africa. Tanda enables micro-retailers to not only access inventory on credit, but also become access points for essential services such as airtime, utility payments, mobile banking and insurance for their customers.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

South African National Blood Service Launches a New Drone-Based Blood Delivery System

The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) has launched a new drone blood delivery service at the North Eastern Radio Flyers in Sandton.

Its Tron drone has a range of over 100km and can travel at up to 180km/h – but can also travel as slowly as 60km/h if necessary. The wing-design is incredibly efficient, added the SANBS, allowing for long travel with minimal power usage.

Designing the drone

“We had a discussion with the department of health to discuss how to help people in rural areas, and hence the drone project was born,” said SANBS CEO Dr Jonathan Louw.

He said that when designing the drone, there were seven criteria:

  1. Speed – The drone needed to be fast to ensure that patients receive blood before they are likely to bleed out.
  2. Two-way logistics – Not only does the drone need to be able to transport blood to the patient; sometimes it needs to transport a sample of the patient’s blood to its centres first so that a perfect match can be found.
  3. Physical conditions – The drone needs to ensure that neither G-force nor temperature affects the integrity of the blood.
  4. Safety – The drone must be able to glide to the ground in an emergency or deploy a parachute if necessary. It must also be autonomous.
  5. Payload capacity – It must be able to transport at least 4 units (2kg) of blood.
  6. Distance – To get to rural areas the drone needs to be able to fly long distances
  7. Cost –A drone flight by SANBS can be done for as little as R10. This is much cheaper than flying blood in via helicopter.

After a six-month process, the SANBS decided to partner with the organisation they deemed to be the best option: Quantum Systems.

Far-reaching benefits

Louw said the SANBS is incredibly excited by the opportunities that this new drone delivery system offers patients in need. “We believe this will be a milestone in the history of blood transfusion, not only in South Africa, but in the entire world.”

The SANBS will now conduct a series of test runs, and once the Civil Aviation Authority gives them the necessary licensing, they’ll look to expand into multiple provinces including KZN, the Western Cape, and the Eastern Cape.

How it works

The Tron drone can either be controlled by a pilot or fly autonomously. Before it takes off, it conducts a series of security checks to ensure that it is ready to fly. Once these checks have been done, the drone will take off. Crucially, the Tron is designed to fly at a height that will not interfere with aeroplane traffic.

The drone also relays HD-quality video to the control centre, ensuring that its flight path and trajectory can be monitored at all times. The design of Tron is such that it lands smoothly, avoiding any damage to either the drone or the blood sample – even if it needs to make an emergency landing.

Pictures of the Tron can be seen below.

To find out more about the SANBS, visit their website here.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Africa Eyes $1 Trillion in Private Equity Deals

Fund managers say ready to deploy up to US$1 trillion for investment in the continent.

The African continent is set for a major shift in Private Equity investment trends after a major announcement was made in Nairobi this week.

During the 16th annual African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA) conference, fund managers from around the globe, mainly the US and European markets said they are ready to deploy up to US$1 trillion for investment in the continent.

This is through PE funds, a move that now places the continent at a strategic position to tap into the funds for investments in various areas.

If tapped by local investment firms, the pool of funds could more than double the number and value of deals reported in the last six years, with regions such as East Africa, West Africa and Sothern Africa reaping big.

“It is a plus for Africa,” said Baba Alokolaro, Managing Partner at Nigerian law firm- TNP (The New Practice),“From what we have seen, investors are taking Africa more serious than they had in the past,”

Alokolaro who led a team of experts from TNP to the Nairobi event said the continent should angle itself for more deals this year, singling out Kenya as one of the countries set to benefit in East Africa.

“We expect to see a lot of deals going forward. In East Africa, Kenya will remain a top investment destination,” he said.

AVCA latest data shows the value of reported African PE deals between 2013-2018 was US$25.7 billion, on a total number of 1,022 deals. During the period, total value of African PE fundraising closed at US$17.8 billion.

The highest value in the six years was recorded in 2014 (US$7.8 billion) which went down to US$2.5 billion in 2015, the lowest during the period under review.

Last year, the value dropped to US$3.5 billion from US$3.9 billion in 2017, reflecting reduced investment activities by both fund managers and investment funds.

West Africa leads in both the number and value of deals reported during the period, where it accounted for 26 per cent(volume) and 25 per cent-share of total deals.

East Africa took a sizable share commanding 18 per cent of PE deals by volume , but lower on value which accounted for eight per cent of the US$25.7 billion.

The Nairobi announcement hence places the continent at a strategic position to revitalize the markets.

AVCA Chief Executive Michelle Essome has since expressed confidence over growth of the PE market in the continent.

“We are positive the PE market will continue growing presenting a unique asset class for Africa. The growth will enable companies to expand, create employment and improve lives in the continent,” Essome said told journalists in Nairobi.

AVCA Chairperson Tokunboh Ishmael said: “Our hope is that companies will grow to an extent where they will expand and increase intra-regional trade.”

According to Tokunboh, who is also the Co-founder & MD of Alitheia Identity, growth in investments will strengthen the continent, giving Africa a stronger bargaining capacity in the global scene.

East Africa

Kenya has continued to dominate the region’s PE space as investment firms hunt for deals in different sectors.

According to official industry data, the East Africa’s economic power house accounted for 59 per cent and 58 per cent of the value and volume of deals reported in the region respectively, between 2013 and 2018.

Uganda took 19 per cent of the volume of PEs and 11 per cent of the total value. Tanzania accounted for nine per cent on both the volume and value of deals reported in the region.

Ethiopia took an 11 per cent share of PE deals by value and seven per cent by volume, Rwanda six per cent (volume) and three per cent (value) while Djibouti had a seven per cent share of PE deals by value and one per cent (volume) of the total deals.

194 PE deals were reported during the six year period(2013-2018) valued at US$2.4 billion, of which US$6 million worth of the deals were median deal size.

“The average growth rate in East Africa was almost six per cent from 2010 to 2018, with Djibouti, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania recording above-average growth rate,” AVCA says in its latest report.

East Africa Venture Capital Association (EAVCA) data shows disclosed value for deals almost doubled to US$834.3 million last year, compared with US$446.78 million in 2017.

Ethiopia has the potential to be a key market for PE investment, AVCA has since noted, given the size of its population (at 108 million) , the second most populous on the continent.

This year’s event saw more than 500 top fund managers and strategic investors from across the globe meet in Nairobi to deliberate on industry challenges and investment opportunities, mainly in Africa.

The fund managers collectively manage more than $1.5 trillion (Sh151.3 trillion) in assets.

During the forum, the Kenyan government called on investors to put funds in projects that will help the realization of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda of Food Security, Universal Health Care, Affordable Housing and Growth of the Manufacturing sector.

“We welcome you to take advantage of the investment opportunities in the country, mainly in the Big Four and other sectors,” Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Industry, Trade and Cooperatives CS Peter Munya said.

The government has since assured investors of protection for their investments in the country.

Top areas of investment

Sectors commanding huge numbers in PE investments in the continent include consumer staples (15 per cent), consumer discretionary(14 per cent),industrial(13 per cent),IT(11 per cent),real estate(nine per cent), Health Care(7%),utilities (6%),communication services(6%) materials(5%) and energy(3%).

“There is a lot to expect in the PE market with East Africa expected to remain bullish,” said Edward Muriu, Team Leader at MMC Africa, a leading advisor in the capital markets space.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: Markus Spiske [1], [2].