Whilst the unofficial amount is undoubtedly far higher, a new official emigration record is being predicted for 2018. The experts say more South Africans are leaving than ever before. Why?
Need they still ask? With so much going on in South Africa practically every day, South Africans are set to break their own emigration record next year. Previously, 2015 had seen the highest emigration from South Africa since 2000.
BizNews spoke to LCR Capital Partners Managing Director Marc J. Sharpe. He looked to paint the picture as to “why” South Africans are wanting to leave.
“We’re expecting this increase because of the unprecedented interest we’ve had from South Africans wanting to emigrate to the U.S. since 2016,” said Mr Sharpe.
“Given that it usually takes around two years to go from making arrangements to leave, to actually leaving the country, we will probably only see the full emigration impact in 2018 or 2019.”
South Africans are wanting out for the usual reasons: Pursuit of better financial opportunities, escaping crime and chasing better education for their children. Sharpe says they have also noticed “an increase in deep-seated pessimism about the future in South Africa”.
“South Africans already know what an electricity crisis is like, and residents of the Western Cape are currently living with a severe water crisis. As people lose confidence in government’s ability to provide even the most basic services, they start to look for other options, particularly for their children.”
“They are opting for emigration as a safety net. They can move to the U.S. relatively quickly with a fairly high degree of certainty. Once they have their green cards, they can re-assess. If things are looking better, they can move back to South Africa. If not, they’ll be relieved they left when they did. For those who can afford it, it’s a very attractive option.”
So, you want to head to the US next year too? Well, you better have almost R8 million to invest in order to get in. To make things even worse, the costs are set to go up even more as the US makes changes in December.