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South Africans want foreign passports as a 'plan B'

Foreign passports are in high demand in South Africa and their are indications that the number of applicants will reach a record high in 2018. 

In many cases, people are reacting to political and economic instability. "The trend we see is very often and in times of confidence in South Africa going down, whether it's the land issue currently or whether it's the issue before with the electricity or with the crime or corruption," says Angel Jones from the South African headhunting agency Homecoming Revolution. 

It assists companies looking to recruit South African professionals living abroad. "Every time there's a bit of a wave in confidence, we see South Africans wanting to take out what we call an insurance package," she tells DW.  

According to the South African analytics consultancy Eighty20, around 900,000 South Africans currently live in the diaspora. The United Kingdon hosts the largest South African community (210,000), followed by Australia (190,000), the United States (100,000), New Zealand (60,000) and Canada (50,000). South Africa's interior ministry does not publish its own figures about citizens leaving or returning to the country.

The issue of land is especially contentious. White South Africans, who make up only 10 percent of the population, still own up to 72 percent of the agricultural land. Parts of the opposition and South Africans experiencing economic hardship are demanding a faster redistribution of the land. The ruling African National Congress (ANC) has announced plans for constitutional reforms, which would allow land expropriation without compensation.

Career opportunities abroad are particularly attractive to young South Africans, says Jones. This has , however, led to a brain drain. Young teachers, for instance, have good job opportunities in the United Arab Emirates, but there is a shortage of teachers at South African schools. Jonty Leon, a manager at the South African company Financial Emigration views this as a major problem. "We're losing our doctors, engineers, lawyers and finance experts. Those are top earners and important taxpayers," Leon says.  (Image:Pixabay). 

Source: Deutsche Welle


Päivitetty/Updated: 13.10.2018

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