Why South Africans with money are leaving the country

Findings from New World Wealth show that almost 1,000 South African millionaires left the country in 2015.

According to the South Africa 2016 Wealth Report, South African millionaire numbers declined from 46,800 at the end of 2014, to 38,500 at the end of 2015.

The group defines millionaires as dollar millionaires – high net worth individuals with net assets valued at $1 million or more.

This decline in millionaires was mainly due to poor economic conditions in the country – where the rand deprecated by 25% against the US$ and the JSE was down 22% in US$ terms during the year – causing HWNIs to lose value in dollar terms.

However, a significant number of HNWIs also left the country, New World Wealth said.

According to the group’s estimations, about 950 millionaires (11% of all millionaires lost) left the country in 2015 – leaving for places such as the UK, Australia, the USA and Canada. Mauritius and Israel were also destination countries.

Between 2000 and 2014, approximately 8,000 HNWIs left the country – a number now closer to 9,000 by the end of 2015.

A survey conducted among emigrants revealed that financial concerns were the main reason to leave – but social issues also played a big part.

Here are the primary reasons millionaires are leaving:

  • Financial concerns.
  • Inability to deal with changing social dynamics in SA.
  • Concerns for children’s future – particularly around schooling and universities.
  • Crime – rape and hijacking concerns were highlighted.
  • BEE requirements in doing business.
  • Concerns that someone in their family may contract HIV/AIDS due to prevalence of virus in SA.

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Why South Africans with money are leaving the country