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South Africans Are Reducing Stress and Saving Money By ‘Semigrating’ Due to New Remote Work Structures

As more workers switch to remote working during lock-down, a growing number of South Africans are looking to emigrate out of major towns and cities says Chas Everitt International property group.

Everitt said that many more people and companies have had to switch to remote working mode to survive and have realised that:

  • It is much easier than they thought;
  • It does not necessarily mean a drop in productivity; in fact, people are often more productive when working from home;
  • Many types of work lend themselves to working remotely on a permanent basis – and from wherever one prefers to live.

“We are thus not surprised that more employees as well as executives are now seriously exploring the idea of moving away from a big metro to a smaller town or an estate in a more rural area,” said Everitt.

“This pandemic has been a wake up call for many people and families who are now seriously reassessing their priorities, and seeking ways to make permanent changes to achieve a lifestyle that is less rushed and stressed, and we see this reflected in a significant increase in enquiries for country homes.”

In keeping with international trends, however, Everitt said that most do not want to relocate to another province or region, but just to a small town or estate that offers the possibility of a quieter life and is still within a couple of hours’ drive of their origin city – particularly if their friends or family members still live there.

The City of Cape Town is the most expensive metropolitan area in South Africa for rental prices. Many simply cannot afford to live in the city anymore, and are seeking homes elsewhere now that they have the freedom to work from home, alleviating much financial stress.

Everitt said the areas that could be prime targets for this process of “de-urbanisation” in South Africa are:

  • The Cape West coast;
  • The Winelands;
  • The Garden Route;
  • The Little Karoo;
  • The North Coast of KZN;
  • Hartebeespoort;
  • The Vaal;
  • Lanseria;
  • The Waterberg in Limpopo;
  • Towns in Mpumalanga close to Mbombela and the Kruger National Park.

Everitt said that not all towns in these areas will immediately benefit from this trend.

He said those areas that can attract the “de-urbanites” with good municipal management, reliable power and water supplies, reliable and fast internet connectivity, reasonable proximity to an airport, good shopping and medical facilities and good schools if they have children will prosper most.

Looking at the type of properties these new semigrants are likely to buy, he said, there is already high demand among affluent buyers for homes in out-of-town lifestyle estates.

These include Val de Vie, Pearl Valley and Boschenmeer in the Wineleands, for example, as well as the golf estate in Mossel Bay, the estates at the Vaal and around Hartebeespoort and the high-end estates along the KZN North coast such as Zimbali, Simbithi and Mount Edgecombe.

“We expect to see rising demand for ordinary freehold homes and whatever apartments may be available in and around various small towns – and possibly also for smallholdings where young families can keep horses or some livestock, go off-grid and grow their own food if they wish.”

 

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

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

Cape Town Back-yarders Urged to Register on Housing Database

An increase in urbanization is the leading factor in Cape Town’s housing crisis.

With only one in three registered on the city of Cape Town’s housing database, the city has encouraged more people in this sector to register.

The city said in a statement recently that almost 70% of informal back-yarders in the metro would not be eligible for a housing opportunity because they were not registered for subsidized housing.

The city says increased urbanization across South Africa over the past decade has resulted in a steady growth of backyard dwellings on publicly- and privately-owned land.

“The great need for affordable housing and services in and near urban centers especially means that we must ensure that we work in a planned, systematic and fair manner.

“It is really important for backyard dwellers to apply to register on the housing database. Back-yarders who are not registered on the database cannot be considered for housing opportunities created for them by the city and Western Cape Government. “

The city said that all qualifying beneficiaries and especially backyard dwellers should ensure that they were registered and that their details were correct and up to date.

“We also continue to focus on enhanced service delivery especially to back-yarders residing on council-owned properties. Cape Town was the first city in South Africa to introduce basic services to back-yarders residing on Council-owned properties.

“The back-yarder program started in 2014 and entails the provision of one-to-one water, refuse and electricity services to back-yarders residing on Council-owned property, such as rental units.

“The Municipal Finance Management Act determines that public money may not be used for enhancing private properties. Therefore, much work still needs to be done to see how back-yarder services will be rolled out to those residing on private properties within the framework of the law.

How to register on the housing database

The city said that urbanization was a challenge that all tiers of government, as well as the private sector and civil society organisations should deal with.

We “must work together and ensure that we are ahead of the curve with our plans to address rapid urbanization. We must bring our communities on board with the alternatives on offer”, the city’s member of the mayoral committee for human settlements, councilor Malusi Booi, said.

He also explained that the service was free and that there was no payment for registration.

Applicants can register on the housing database online, at city housing offices, MyEstate mobile offices that comes to various areas and at the Parow or Wale Street walk-in centers.

Applicants need a certified copy of their IDs and their spouses’ IDs, a completed housing assistance form, copies of their children’s birth certificates, marriage or divorce certificates, details of special needs where applicable, as well as supporting documents such as medical records and proof of address (FICA).

 

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

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