Charts & Statistics: 4 real facts about emigration in South Africa – My comments


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[There’s talk about emigration from South Africa now with all this land stealing that this black Govt is going to legalise. I was looking at an article about white emigration from South Africa. What I seriously differ with are the statistics that claim that in 1985-2000 we lost 184,000 whites. This is wrong. I recall that before the blacks took over, that 1 million whites left SA. The whites have left in “panic waves” whenever things go wrong, like in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe. But, my sense of it is that the vast majority of whites who could leave South Africa have left South Africa. The people who are left are the ones who either are: too poor to leave, or they have made lots of money under black rule and see no reason to leave. I don’t know of anyone who is leaving. The rate at which whites are leaving is, undoubtedly going up, based on the FNB data. But I don’t think its as big as it once was. I think whites are more locked in now than before. Interestingly, the stats show you that blacks have been coming INTO SOUTH AFRICA NON-STOP EVEN UNDER “EVIL” APARTHEID!! Yes, blacks ALWAYS run to where things are going well where whites are. Jews do the same. These destructive peoples go where whites make life heaven and then they come and screw it up. This has been going on for longer than you can believe … thousands of years actually. Whites need to wake up and begin pushing and kicking people out.

Once again, I also see we are losing doctors. That’s bad.

My view is that the white population is stabilizing and that we won’t see whites leaving at a rate as fast as in the past. Whites have been leaving non-stop for 35+ years, but I doubt it will exceed the past rates because I don’t think whites have the financial ability to do so – except for the rich. The rich can go anywhere. For them fleeing is easy. But for the poor its impossible. I’m throwing in my chips with the poor. Jan]

Emigration experts predict that South Africa will break local emigration records in 2018, with several data releases and surveys showing the extent of this trend, and what may lie ahead if it continues.

In a recent report, Pew Research estimated that at least 900,000 people born in South Africa were living abroad in 2017. At current rates, this could easily be over one million people by the time of the next national census (2021) – including mostly wealthy white, educated professionals.

Tracking emigration rates in South Africa is difficult task without running a monthly headcount, however, several data points provide some indication of who is leaving and why.

This is what we know:

1. White South Africans are leaving

In its latest mid-year population, Stats SA estimates showed that, even though South Africa is set to record net immigration of around one million people between 2016 and 2021, this comes at the loss of about 115,000 white South Africans.

Stats SA showed that over 612,000 white South Africans will have left the country since between 1985 and 2021 – 430,000 of which will have left in the 20 year period between 2001 and 2021 (at a rate of 21,000 a year, in-line with most of the population declines).

While there are estimated to be 4.52 million white South Africans in the country in 2018, up from 4.49 million in 2017, the proportion of the population is shrinking (7.8%, down from 8.0% previously) – and is expected to continue to decline, according to another set of stats published by Solidarity.

2. Emigration has accelerated over the last few years

One of the ways to track emigration rates is through various industry surveys that track the movements.

The FNB property barometer is accompanied by surveys, looking at why homeowners are selling, buying, upscaling or downscaling their homes. Among the reasons listed, selling homes for the purpose of emigrating is one of the metrics tracked.

According to FNB’s Q1 data, emigration as a reason for selling has been increasing over the past few years, climbing from 4.6% of all sellers in 2016, to 7.4% in 2018.

Various emigration facilitators have noted an increase in the number of queries related to moving overseas – with others saying that many people are now acting on plans to leave, rather than just ‘putting feelers out’.

3. South Africa is losing wealth

FNB’s data also showed that those households which cite emigration as their reason for selling are more prominent in the upper and high-income groups – up to 9%. But more worryingly, is that it’s still happening across the board.

The Frank Knight Wealth Report for 2018 showed that between 2012 and 2017, South Africa lost almost a quarter if its super wealthy individuals – those who have a net worth of over $5 million – dropping from 13,380 in 2012, to just 10,350 in 2017.

The jump between 2012 and 2016 was even greater, with a 32% decline in the number of high net worth individuals over that period.

While this drop in wealthy individuals is not exclusively attributable to emigration (as South Africa’s struggling economy has also destroyed a lot of wealth), experts cited in the report indicated that emigration played a big part, saying that “wealthy South Africans are likely to continue moving money abroad and acquiring dual citizenship”.

4. South Africa is losing skills

Emigration is not only effecting the current skill pool in the country, but also the future skills base, as families who move out of the country take their kids with them.

Private school group AdvTech published its interim results for the first half of 2018, noting a decline in the number of its learners, attributed to economic woes and emigration. AdvTech CEO, Roy Douglas noted that of the reasons for student departures, emigration accounts for almost 30%.

The future also appears uncertain for workers in the healthcare sector, with government looking to implement National Health Insurance (NHI).

A recent survey of health professionals, run by union Solidarity, found that 43% of healthcare professionals would consider leaving South Africa should government move ahead with implementing the NHI scheme – while 83% were convinced that the scheme will ultimately cause more professionals to leave the country.

More recent coverage of government’s plans for land expropriation without compensation has caused even more uncertainty among South Africans, with relation to the security of property rights in the country.

While president Cyril Ramaphosa has moved to assure the country that the government’s plans are not to nationalise land, markets have not responded well to the plans, while other countries have expressed keen interest in drawing in the skills of farmers who may find themselves displaced.


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