#ImStaying is spreading – here are some of the reasons why people say they want to stay in South Africa

A growing number of South Africans have indicated that they have no intentions of emigrating from South Africa, and have banded together to broadcast positives about the country.

First created on 7 September 2019, the #ImStaying Facebook group is ‘dedicated to the South African women and men of all races and all religions, who remain loyal to South Africa’.

The group also looks to celebrate ‘all those who still believe that we as a nation can turn things around’.

The majority of posts focus on reasons why South Africans have chosen to stay in the country, as well as ‘good news’ posts that paint the country in a positive light.

Popular for reasons for staying include:

  • Diversity – A number of people on the group praised the country’s diversity – including South Africa’s multilingualism and the fact that people of different races are living side-by-side after years of apartheid. Commenters also praised the ‘mish-mash’ of cultures which makes the country unlike anywhere else in the world.
  • Family – A number of commenters indicated that they intend to stay in the country due to strong familial ties. Many posters indicated that they also have ‘extended’ family including friends, colleagues and employees who make them want to stay.
  • Quality of life – A large number of posters indicated that South Africa has some of the best weather and landscapes in the world. People also praised the general quality of life including friendly people, food culture, and the activities available to them.
  • Career – A number of people indicated that they remained in the country due to their jobs. Some posters indicated that they were proud to contribute to the economy, while others said that they received great personal satisfaction from their work.
  • Natural beauty – people also love South Africa’s natural beauty, including the beaches, mountains, and the many game reserves full of wildlife. The country is also being praised as having the perfect weather.

The page has garnered significant traction on social media and currently has over 330,000 members as of Monday (30 September).

Emigration

The Department of Home Affairs does not currently track the number of people leaving the country, with most information on the topic coming either from property sales or the countries where South Africans have already moved to.

FNB’s latest property barometer shows that an increasing number of South Africans are selling their homes with plans to emigrate, with emigration-driven sales having become a more prominent feature over the past two years.

“According to estate agents, these are estimated to have steadied at around 13.4% in 2Q19, marginally down from 14.2% in 1Q19,” FNB said, adding that this trend is more prevalent in the higher end of the market – although appears to have spilled over to the lower ends as well.

It added that the spike in the lower and middle ends could, in part, be explained by upper-income owners disposing of their investment properties.]

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.

This means that approximately 683 South Africans migrated to New Zealand every month over the last year – or just over 22 people each day.

The latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that there are approximately 189,000 South African-born people currently living in Australia.

This number has steadily increased over the past decade, with Melbourne and Sydney being the most popular destinations.


Read: This developer built a website showing how many South Africans are emigrating – and where they are going

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#ImStaying is spreading – here are some of the reasons why people say they want to stay in South Africa