This European island is on the hunt for more South Africans

 ·10 Mar 2024

The Isle of Man, in the Irish Sea between England and Ireland, is a popular destination for South African emigrants, with the island hoping to attract thousands of new emigrants over the next five years.

The 8,000 South Africans living in the Crown Dependency comprise over 10% of its population.

There are so many South Africans on the island that the first-ever “Saffas Festival” was hosted last year.

In addition, the Isle of Man’s Island Plan seeks to grow the economy and population and is increasingly catching the attention of South Africans looking to move.

“The island’s five-year plan is all about economic security and stability going forward,” said Marnie Delaney-James, Director of Isle of Man Opportunities.

“The Isle of Man Government has set the island a target of increasing the 86,000 current population by another 15,000 over the next five to seven years.”

Delaney-James said that this population growth can only be achieved through relocation to the island.

There are over a thousand vacancies on the island, with job openings in the finance, digital and hospitality sectors.

The Isle of Man Government also has a massive £1 billion (roughly R24 billion) long-term public and private investment program to assist in creating roughly 5,000 new roles and achieve an economy of circa £10 billion approximatelyy R240 billion).

Increased expenditure on infrastructure is designed to accommodate the increase in population.

Isle of Man Opportunities said that it helped 45 South Africans relocate to the island in the last three months.

The island is renowned for its low crime rate, stable government, strong education system and short commute times.

“More and more businesses are also opening on the island or relocating to the island to enjoy the tax benefits, 0% rated capital gains tax and also to benefit from The Financial Assistance Scheme which allows businesses, either new start-up businesses or businesses relocating to the Isle of Man, to apply for a range of grants and soft loan support from the Department for Enterprise,” said Delaney-James.

Another benefit is the Employee Relocation Scheme, which aims to encourage job growth and the import of skills and talent from off-island across certain sectors through a £10,000 award to employers per off-island employee.

New or relocating businesses can also apply for grants of up to 40% for capital and operating items, up to 100% of the business premises’ first-year rent payable, marketing costs for off-island activity and business set-up fees, including legal fees, relocation costs and other professional fees.

Read: Mafias targetting ‘sitting duck’ projects in South Africa

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