Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Only 0,1% ever return

Between 12 000 and 13 000 South Africans move to Australia each year and more than 750 000 have relocated to London.

The number of South Africans wanting to move abroad has risen sharply this year, according to emigration consultants -- and they say Jacob Zuma and Eskom are to blame.

South Africa is afflicted by the world's biggest skills exodus and has the worst skills shortages of 55 countries, according to last year's Competitiveness Yearbook and Productivity SA.

The country is particularly short of engineers, ranking last in this category and not all those leaving are white, the manager of Afriforum's "come home" campaign, Alana Bailey, says.

A third of emigrés who have contacted her organisation about returning to South Africa are black. Last month more than 11 000 South Africans flocked to the Opportunities Australian Expo at Gallagher Estate in Johannesburg in search of greener pastures. The expo was designed to put skilled South Africans directly in touch with Australian employers.

Four emigration companies said the numbers seeking their services had more than doubled over the past month.

"The Eskom crises and Zuma being elected president of the ANC are the main causes of people's uncertainty about the country's future," said Bruce Sherman, general manager of Immigration Unit's South African branch.

"We recently had seminars in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg attended by hundreds of people," Sherman said. "At the Johannesburg seminar we had to turn 100 people away because the venue was too small for all those that showed up."

Gary Chapman, MD of ACN Consultants in Johannesburg, said the number of would-be emigrants who had approached his company had doubled since the beginning of the year.

Chapman, an Australian-qualified immigration lawyer, said he had detected a new sense of urgency among clients. "Normally people just want to find out about the process of emigration at first. But lately people are adamant -- they've decided, and as soon they get their visas they're gone."

Australia is the number one destination for South African emigrants, with between 12 000 and 13 000 people moving there permanently or temporarily each year, Chapman said. Only 0,1% ever return.

Australian government statistics estimate that 75 000 South Africans permanently relocated to Australia between 1995 to 2005.

The South African Marketing Research Association has described Australia as the biggest threat to South Africa's skilled workforce.

The Australian government has launched various campaigns in recent months to recruit skilled South Africans, including a specific campaign to poach police officers in October last year and a drive to recruit engineers on the mines.

Statistics released by the South African High Commission in the United Kingdom indicate that in 2006, between 750 000 and 1,4-million South Africans were living in London alone.

There are no recent government statistics on the number and categories of South Africans emigrating, but the Engineering Council of South Africa said about 300 qualified engineers leave South Africa every year.

A Centre for Global Development study, published last year, indicated that about 65 000 African-born medical doctors (about 20% of total) and 70 000 African-born professional nurses (10% of total) were working abroad in developed countries in 2000.

The skills shortage has a crippling effect on government. A Centre of Skills Development and Training report last October indicated more than 320 000 vacant positions in local and provincial government in December 2006 - 28% of the government workforce.

1 Opinion(s):

Truthsayer USA said...

Yippee! I am PROUD to call myself one of those that left.

I encourage all skilled whites to leave SA ASAP, and those that did leave to help those that want to leave.

Screw the ANC. He who laughs last, laughs the longest, and the loudest.

We'll see all the coons scratch their velcro fur then, when there are no whites left to rob.