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.
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.
- 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;
- 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;
- 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
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