More skilled black professionals are leaving South Africa: experts

 ·22 Oct 2019

For the first time since democracy in 1994, more black South Africans than whites are seeking to emigrate numbers as growth stutters and unemployment spikes in the country.

Speaking to the German state-broadcaster Deutsche Welle , Trevor Thomas of Induku Immigration Consultants said that his firm was struggling to keep up with demand and the number of enquiries around skilled visa options.

“There are a lot of families that are trying to understand ‘what does it take to leave’ and ‘how do I get a visa’,” he said.

Induku has previously indicated that, contrary to popular belief, more black professionals are looking to make the move. These South Africans are considering emigration as a means of improving their job prospects, concerns over safety, and quality of life.

“In South Africa, while many thought emigration was only a phenomenon amongst white professionals, in recent years, it is known that the number of black professionals leaving South Africa has exceeded white emigrants,” the group said.

“New Zealand, Australia and Canada remain viable destinations to emigrate to. The inability to amass sufficient points has however found many families being denied access with their visa applications being disapproved.

“The USA and pursuing ‘the American dream’ would appear to be a real and attractive alternative.”

According to Sable International’s Andrew Rissik, 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.

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

Looking to come back

Angel Jones of repatriation consultants Homecoming Revolution said that there has been a notable dip in the number of people looking to return to the country compared to the ‘Ramaphoria’ seen in 2018.

However, Jones said that the same strong reasons lead to a number of South Africans returning to the country – specifically:

  • Friends and family;
  • A sense of purpose;
  • A sense of belonging.

Positivity around groups such as the #ImStaying movement also shows that some South Africans choosing to plant their roots even further and embrace the things that make our nation great, said CEO of RE/MAX Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett.

“Local investment both within the real estate sector as well as within the business sector is likely to increase as more South Africans adopt a positive view on their prospects within our country. Movements like #ImStaying can therefore help to create the positivity that is required to aid transformation within our nation,” Goslett said.

Read: More South Africans are selling their homes to leave the country – but some are still finding reason to stay

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