Great migration: Why are so many skilled South Africans moving abroad?

Great migration: Why are so many skilled South Africans moving abroad?

- Many South Africans continue to emigrate

- This is expected to have a greater and greater effect on the country

- Political uncertainty and economic instability are often cited as reasons for leaving

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While government does not have exact statistics, it is clear that increasing numbers of skilled South Africans are leaving the country to work elsewhere.

At the end of 2018, more than one million South Africans lived abroad.

This brain drain is having significant consequences for the country.

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The number of skilled workers in fields like medicine and technology who are emigrating is causing the overall quality of those fields to decline. In some cases, like with doctors who emigrate, these decisions are influenced by govrnment policy.

For example, the proposed National Health Insurance legislation (which would put an upper limit on how much private doctors can charge) has already been blamed for leading some doctors to emigrate, according to The South African.

Additionally, BusinessTech has reported that South Africa's very wealthiest citizens are also leaving en masse. In the last five years, a quarter of the country's richest people (those with a nett worth of more than $5 million) left.

This, too, could have negative effects on the country, as it would mean that these ultra-wealthy individuals would not be paying tax here and not investing here.

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So where are all these South Africans going? The UK has the most South African residents at almost 900 000, followed by Australia at just under 100 000 and then the USA with slightly less, has gathered.

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