The top reasons why people are looking to leave South Africa – and load shedding isn’t helping

South Africa’s move to stage 4 load shedding earlier this week has not helped people on the fence about leaving the country, says immigration specialists Sable International.

In response to questions from BusinessTech, the group said that load shedding and power outages are not necessarily at the top of the list for why skilled South Africans are looking to leave the country. Instead, the group said it was a contributing factor alongside a series of other more significant concerns.

Sable International said that currently, the most common reasons that people give for emigrating include:

  1. Concerns around safety and security;
  2. The failing economy;
  3. High unemployment and lack of job opportunities
  4. Uncertainty around future prospects for their children.

The group, which specialises in helping people emigrate to the UK and Australia, says it has not seen a significant jump in emigration enquiries in recent weeks, despite the return of intermittent power outages. However, the group said it had seen a general increase in travel as local and international restrictions ease, including holiday, study and work opportunities.

Notably, the US eased international travel restrictions on Monday (8 November) for the first time in nearly two years, removing its country-by-country travel restrictions and instead introducing international restrictions based on the vaccination status of individual travellers.

The change means that the United States will admit fully vaccinated foreign air travellers from the 26 so-called Schengen countries in Europe – including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Greece – as well as Britain, Ireland, China, India, and South Africa.

In the six weeks since the US reopening was announced, Delta Airlines said it had seen a 450% increase in international point-of-sale bookings versus the six weeks before the announcement.

Airlines, which have warned there will likely be long queues at first, will check vaccination documentation for international travellers as they currently do for Covid-19 test results.


Read: Crime wave to hit South Africa, analysts warn

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The top reasons why people are looking to leave South Africa – and load shedding isn’t helping