An emigration expert says that she has experienced a seven-fold increase in the number of South Africans enquiring about immigrating to Australia.
Migration agent, Marlene Prentice, told Talk 702 that there has been a noticeable spike in activity on a Facebook page called: South Africans Migrating to Australia since the second week of January 2015
The page was started 10 months ago by eight Migration Agents Registration Authority registered agents, and has added almost 500 members over the past two days, to just under 9,000 members.
Prentice told the Cape Argus earlier this week, that enquiries about emigration on the page were from all race groups with varying skill ranging from dentists, teachers and accountants, to receptionists and office workers.
The agent said that while most interested parties stemmed from Joburg, Pretoria and Kwa-Zula Natal, many queries were from small farming communities.
“More farmers are enquiring,” Prentice said.
Four main reasons
Aside from some of the more rhetorical reasons for immigrating, more people had cited load shedding as a reason to leave South Africa, according to Prentice.
“I have identified four main reasons that I hear over and over again – the new one that I have started to hear is load shedding – the effect on everyday life,” she said.
Crime, government corruption, and ‘a better future for my children’ were the other three main reasons, Prentice said.
“I hear a lot of sadness in people wanting to leave, there are really people who don’t want to leave, but feel they have to leave – there is still a love for the country. The push factor is a better future for their children…”
Immigration lawyer, Chris Watters, told the Cape Argus that enquiries to his practice had gone from approximately one every two weeks to nine or 10 a day since January.
The most common reason given for leaving was the ongoing disruption to life and business from load shedding.
President Jacob Zuma said in May that load shedding is likely to last for three more years as power utility struggles to keep up with demand due to poor infrastructure, a lack of planning, and financial demand.
More on South Africa