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The brain drain and SA’s slide to the bottom

Prolonged low economic growth could lead to even more economic flight by those with skills and capital.
South Africa’s per capita GDP has shrunk while the number of SA-born residents now living in high-income countries has escalated. Picture: Shutterstock

Is South Africa’s ‘radical transformation’ from a leader to a laggard in the upper middle-income countries the cause or the result of a brain drain? It is hard to tell. What is certain is that there is an extremely strong inverse correlation.

It is so strong that one can use one statistic to deduce the other – and if high-skilled emigration continues, the country’s decline towards the ranks of the lower middle-income countries will also continue.

Figure 1: High-skilled emigration and the slide to the bottom

Source: Eosa (using UN data)

According to World Bank data on upper middle-income countries, South Africa’s per capita GDP was 61.1% higher than the average in 1995. In 2017, South Africa was no longer a leader in this band of countries, but a laggard. Our per capita GDP had shrunk to 75.7% of the average (red line in Figure 1).

During this time, the number of SA-born residents in high-income countries (HICs) increased from 307 000 to 745 000 (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, 2017). This index is portrayed by the blue line in Figure 1.

Read: What you need to know about financial emigration

The two lines form a mirror image and indicate an extremely strong correlation.

Correlations don’t prove causality. One cannot say without further analyses that emigration to HICs is causing SA to be radically economically transformed from a leader to a laggard. Likewise, one cannot deduce that SA’s slide against other upper middle-income countries is the cause and the driver of emigration to high-income countries. However, the correlation is extremely significant; significant enough for one to confidently deduce that if one goes up the other will go down.

Tie white South Africans to a tree …

Even President Cyril Ramaphosa seems to be aware of this correlation, indicating during the election campaign that he wanted to tie white South Africans to trees to prevent them from emigrating.

HICs in general have high standards for granting residence permits. One can assume that the majority of South Africans finding permanent residence in those countries are either professionally qualified or have artisan skills that may be in short supply in the HICs, such as hairdressers and plumbers

Figure 2, based on UN data, plots how the exodus of skilled emigrants to HICs increased linearly from 1990 to 2017. Of significance is that during this period the number of South Africans born in low-income countries essentially remained flat, with a decrease from 42 341 to 39 259.

Figure 2: The South African exodus

Source: Eosa; data extracted from UN Population Division (2019), UN Migrant Stock by Origin and Destination (1990-2017)

Between 1990 and 2000, the number of South Africans in middle-income countries decreased from 53 000 to a low 40 000. However, by 2005, this number had again reached 53 000 – and has since rocketed to 115 000, including a 30 000 increase in Botswana. (It should be noted that the 624 SA-born people residing in Mauritius in 2017 appears to be a vast understatement of the reality.)

The rapid increase of South Africans moving to other middle-income countries since 2005 is indicative that these South Africans assess the immediate and long-term prospects in these countries to be better than South Africa’s.

Fleeing a business unfriendly environment 

This is a strong indicator that economic deterioration in South Africa – with its business-unfriendly environment (high crime, high regulatory environment, deteriorating infrastructure, high port tariffs and low productivity as well as unreliable and costly electricity) – is a driver of professional and skilled emigration.

More SA engineers heading for Australia 

Chaining South Africans to trees (through prescriptive investment) will not stem the emigration of productive knowledge.

There are clear indications that the brain drain is continuing and even accelerating. For instance, Emmanuelle Wintergerst, head of the skills assessment business unit of Engineers Australia, confirmed to the Enterprise Observatory of South Africa (Eosa) that there has been a doubling in the number of South African engineers asking for a skills assessment in order to be allowed to practise in Australia (see Figure 3).

Figure 3: South African engineers requesting skills assessment in Australia

Source: Eosa, using data from Engineers Australia; the figure for 2019 is an extrapolation based on the number of enquiries received so far this year.

If government is serious about changing the trend towards mediocrity, it will:

  • Effectively combat crime (the cost of crime for SA business being the fifth highest in the world),
  • Stop propping up inefficient and bankrupt state-owned enterprises that are an opportunity tax on growth (think Eskom, as well as having port tariffs more than double the world average simply to finance Transnet),
  • Acknowledge that, as Harvard economist Ricardo Hausmann advised government in 2008, BEE is effectively anti-growth and driving away productive knowledge, and
  • Commit to a phasing out of BEE and making it growth-compatible for the remainder of its lifespan.

In his 2017 New Deal manifesto Ramaphosa promised as a first priority “an unrelenting focus on economic growth”, setting a 3% growth rate goal for 2018. The growth rate for 2018 was a mere 0.8%. However, since his inauguration as president, his focus has been more inward, aimed at balancing the internal infighting within the ANC with the economy receiving insufficient attention.

It is unlikely that South Africa will experience a high economic growth rate in the short term. If low economic growth is prolonged it could lead to a further economic flight: in this instance not by the poor seeking better prospects, but by productive capital seeking opportunities where their skills and talents will be appreciated and accommodated.

Johannes Wessels is director of the Enterprise Observatory of SA (Eosa).

This article is an abridged version of a piece that originally appeared on the Eosa website here.


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Thank you to the author for a thought-provoking article.

The conclusions drawn in this article does however appears to suffer from a confirmation and sponsor bias. In other words, the information is presented in such a way that it supports a funder agenda and the individual that performed the data analysis wanted to prove a predetermined assumption.

This does not mean that the conclusion is incorrect but only that it should be judge with a strong dose of scepticism due to the reasons below.

My view is based on the following flaws in the article:

1.Selective presentation of information – Author admission in the second paragraph that only one static was used (selection bias)

2.The use of superlatives (‘extremely strong’) without reference to the statistical correlation (low quality reporting of science)

3.No reference is made to factors (apparent and confounding factors) that might also explain the outcome. In economics there are many and in South African there probably even more due to the complexity of the country.

4.The incorrect assumption that SA-born residents in high-income countries are all skilled and/or brainy (4th paragraph). Some of them might have left SA when they were 6 months old with their parents and are on social support.
These individuals are neither skilled or brainy and should not be counted.

5.The omission of the economic impact of some South Africans living overseas on the SA economy. (I know of consultants that live overseas and consult to SA co’s).

6.Importantly, no reference is made to the inflow of brainy and skilled individuals into South Africa (immigration). To find a balanced view on the impact of in/out flow of brainy and skilled individuals, the net number should be reported on.

7.Assuming that individuals are permanent residents. Some might be in HICs on working visas and might therefore not be permanent residents.

Looking forward to some more work done in this area.

Thank you for your excellent comments Prins Karnati. I hope Johannes Wessels will respond and sharpen their research accordingly. I also hope that Moneyweb thinks deeper next time before heading such an article with an alarmist heading like “The brain drain and SA’s slide to the bottom”. It is old news that skilled professionals are leaving South Africa. What would be interesting is to know how many professionals are immigrating to South Africa, from both first and third world countries.

Very few my friend. I have worked in the banking sector where companies have brought in IT workers and some have already left for other countries.

There are definitely more people leaving than coming to SA – try and get a work permit in SA! My wife is from overseas and it’s not easy getting anything done in SA especially paperwork.

In my personal experience, I can say I know of 4 skilled workers and not the ‘social support’ folk as mentioned by Prins who assumed they would be just leaches on the social systems. All have degrees (multiple in many cases) and many years of experience and in areas of critical shortage!

If you haven’t noticed SA is not doing well and is on par with countries that are ravaged by civil strife. I know you all wish that they would be replaced (especially whites) but a lot of non-whites are also leaving – I can list a few for you as well?

No one comes here not because they don’t want to, but they can’t get the right visas, as with most things in SA, our immigration dept is not working so well!

Personally, out of the +-50 couples/families I know who have left or who are planning or trying to leave, only one couple, who met in the UK, decided to come back here to start a family. The question was naturally – why?!? The answer was disappointingly predictable – space and weather please over law and order! But, to each their own.
The fact of the matter is that – you can not trust ANYTHING Cyril or the ANC says, especially not when it suggests there is any value to the lives of white South African’s beyond restitution. The last 25 years were spent by the ANC,EFF, IFP, COSATU, SACP and BEE making very sure there is no place for whites in this land beyond footing the bill. Any statement to the contrary will be a untrue, self-serving and intended to pacify or distract you. South Africa does not belong to all who live in it – it belongs to everyone except the whites – even the Chinese have better social standing in the eyes of our political revolutionary masters than a white person born here! If that’s not the case these political masters sure have a strange way of making you feel part of the nation. The rainbow nation has made way for the rain clouds, and now I hear thunder as well…..

And your point is ?
Skilled South Africans are leaving the Country in droves. This has been happening over the past 40 years, and is accelerating. That is the bottom line. The future isn’t what it used to be. Both the Nats and the ANC are on a collision course, we all know what happened to the Nats.

“4.The incorrect assumption that SA-born residents in high-income countries are all skilled and/or brainy (4th paragraph). Some of them might have left SA when they were 6 months old with their parents and are on social support.
These individuals are neither skilled or brainy and should not be counted.”

I think this is a pretty safe assumption to make, how would people on social security move into a high income country outside of illegal immigration or assylum, both of which are costly. Looking at PR requirements for most high income countries and personal expected, I find that this assumptions is fairly logical for the majority of SA expats.

“6.Importantly, no reference is made to the inflow of brainy and skilled individuals into South Africa (immigration). To find a balanced view on the impact of in/out flow of brainy and skilled individuals, the net number should be reported on. ”

Valid but these numbers are going to be small I suspect. I know of skilled workers who came here but SA immigration is shockingly bad and does not make it easy for these people to come apply their skills here. I have seen many people have their visa renewals denied or their spouses visas getting denied etc. Seems like a sub-par move considering the skill set that gets brought over but SA gov does not seem to be able to adapt or execute anything very well.

Hmm I will go with 7/10 for whataboutery but 0/10 for adding new information.

The number of skilled, educated people, that just I know, who have left these shores and become big contributors to their new countries is off the charts. To think that even of fraction of these skills has been replaced is ludicrous. The sad thing is this, we needed them while their new country’s actually don’t – they already have enough skilled people but are happy take what we generously send (donate to) them.

Getting permanent residents in a HIC country e.g. Denmark when you are a South African is very difficult because South African is regarded here as “tredverdens indvandrere med en ikke vestlige baggrund” (third world immigrants with non-western back ground). One can only get permanent residents after eight years and only if you have had full-time employment for at least four years, have passed the Danish language test and Danish citizens test and have not received any social grants from the state. However, despite this, the South Africans in Denmark Facebook groups is slowly growing month, by month with South African from all races, due to the huge shortage of skilled labour here, especially engineers…

Feel you’ve missed the point of the article. The article aims to showcase that there is an exodus of skilled people and provide an overview of the situation. We don’t read articles here to gain a detailed statistical thesis on everything. It’d take years to write a single article. Only to come to come a conclusion that the overview data illustrated the story.

It’s not enough to say that correlations don’t prove causality (and thus sound like you know what you’re talking about), and then immediately say the opposed with “correlation is …significant enough for one to confidently deduce that if one goes up the other will go down”

The correlation between “the number of people who drowned by falling into a pool” and “films Nicolas Cage appeared in” between 1999 and 2009 is also extremely high (look it up!), but you’d be pretty stupid to deduce that if one goes up the other will.

Fair comments, but it sounds like you’re trying to avoid the inevitable conclusion by miring the author in analysis paralysis.

It’s an opinion piece, not a research paper: it doesn’t have to be footnoted.

If I was an educated yout’ I would see the massive taxes that are thrust upon the few still working in this country to be funneled (through the leaky hands of government) to help the poor. Socialism is a failure. BUT if you ca keep people under-educated, you will keep them reliant on government, thus keeping the government’s jobs safe.It is an overall decline of the society however. Would you want to stay if you knew you were going to be taxed to DEATH and struggle with everyday issues like will I have electricity this week? Will I have acceptable water to drink? Will crime take me out? They are thought provoking issues and when one looks forward to the future you must remember the history (last 24 years) of the ruling party.Wondering if they will change their “spots?”

This is more an opinion piece with a leading agenda.

However this is all pretty much common knowledge, except that this article fails to include highly skilled black professional which are leaving are a higher rate then their white counterparts.

Most small families (2 adults + 1 child) will have left and moved to at least 2 other countries before settling.
Mine is one of them.

For the average Saffa abroad would love to return but we know all to well that this is a pipe dream.

1. Jobs and opportunity
2. Purchase Power
3. high Taxes
4. Crime and general lawlessness
5. Education
6. Policy uncertainty
7. Infrustructure
8. Corruption
9. Service delivery

This is a very general list and can be put in ranking depending on each person’s situation.

South Africa is not competitve and now needs to work twice as hard to convince expats to return.

The most telling observations…

“Acknowledge that, as Harvard economist Ricardo Hausmann advised government in 2008, BEE is effectively anti-growth and driving away productive knowledge, and

Commit to a phasing out of BEE and making it growth-compatible for the remainder of its lifespan.”

I left in 2008. The primary reason being there was no sunset clause on BEE and EE. I wanted a future for my 4 children. No change 11 years later.

My very bright son in law and his family(my daughter and 3 grandkids) sadly left for the UK about 3 years ago for a better future because he was told by big co’s in SA that although he is the best they cannot employ him because he is white. After 2 years of hell he now has a top job at a huge international company and earning megabucks. This whole bright family is now lost to this country forever.They walk to the shops and cycle in the woods and have NO burglar guards on windows.Counting in my 2 cycling buddies we have 4 children families who left SA for better future-to USA,Austria and OZ.So the brain drain is happening at an alarming rate.Spare us the semantics.

Luthuli House is the home of naive, ignorant, outdated and downright criminal socialist ideals. Any business plan that is naive, ignorant, outdated and criminal is guaranteed to fail. What the ANC delivers, is the exact opposite of what they promised. These socialist fools fail to realize that “the invisible hand of the economy” is constantly acting to find equilibrium between the policies of governments. BEE codes will inevitably lead to “empowered” owners of bankrupt businesses.

Luthuli House does not realize that its policies effectively turn it into a trading company. They export law and order, skills, employment, profit, capital gains and the tax-base to our international competitors. The ANC imports rising unemployment, crime, a down-spiralling economy, capital losses a declining tax-base and eventually social and economic collapse.

The ANC has turned South Africa into the world’s dumpsite for policy failures. No international capitalist will invest in a country where the leaders call each other Comrade, and the local capitalists will become economic refugees. The ANC turned the country’s taxpayers into economic refugees.

Yup, we are optimistic at our peril. Ramaphosa’s “New Dawn”, so many are hanging their hats on Ramaphosa turning SA around. Well that would be against all odds because he is still surrounded by the worst politicians and incompetent bureaucrats and he cannot do it alone, even if he actually knows how, which is doubtful in MHO. I apologise for this thought but some realism is essential. Can you imagine what would happen if, in this crime ridden country, Ramaphosa was taken out like Chris Hani? He is a massive target preventing the hordes surrounding him from getting back to the feeding troughs.

‘Luthuli House is the home of naive, ignorant, outdated and downright criminal socialist ideals.’

Luthuli House is also the home of many incompetents, with or without ideals of any kind.

Spelling correction. Lootuli house.

@ Sensei – Margaret Thatcher/Quotes
The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.

I have skills and capital yet I remain in SA.
Am I just stupid?

If you weigh your options and then make a rational decision to stay, then it certainly cannot be said that you are stupid. Life is a trade-off, a compromise. The issues that drive us offshore are those things we cannot compromise on. For some it is safety and for others it is financial. As long as emotions do gain the upper hand. Emotions are the enemy of logical decision making.

“The pessimists got a house with a swimming pool in New York. The optimists got a bunk in Dachau” – Interview with Holocaust survivor on why people stayed.

No, it’s a wonderful place to live provided that you take every possible measure to secure your home and move around with your “radar” on full alert. While doing that get as much of your capital out as possible and build an exit plan for the day when the risk and/or cost of staying exceeds your tolerance level.

As someone with friends and relatives all over the world I can attest that not all is rosy across the pond, that is a fact. That said, why do people stay and not return? a) they have spent huge time, money and energy to relocate b) crime c) they have gotten accustomed to receiving first world services for their tax money.

Bear in mind these people would never have left in the first place if they were confident about the future of our country. It is never an easy decision to leave friends and family behind. We were once a proud and prosperous country with a bright future. I don’t think there are many, in their heart of hearts, who believe this is still the case. Too much time has been lost.

Angelo; for sure there is business opportunity in SA but Sensei’s quote about a Holocaust interview says it all. Money will not bring back a traumatised or heaven forbid, killed, loved one. Let’s face it; the chances of this happening in SA are way higher than in a first world country.

The expectation that the President will fix everything is not very smart. He is regarded as a highly respected businessman by many and I don’t understand why. He is essentially SA’s first citizen when it comes to being a BEE beneficiary. His contribution to Lonmin (Shareholder beneficiary not investor) has been dubious to say the least and not very business like.
They will continue to insult black professionals with BEE insinuating that they are always employed because of the colour of there skin and not their ability. Maybe that’s why they are also leaving.

You are 100% correct. And both our highly skilled children have lived overseas for 17 and 14yrs each and will not return to this criminal paradise full of incompetents.

Yeah, finishing studying this year, and then I’m out. Sorry, I love this country but don’t see a future for myself here, economically or personally (safety for my person and my family). Sure other countries have other problems, but they don’t have an ANC.

Simply reality is that young and skilled are running away as are the wealthy( job creators). Personal safety, BEE killing opportunities, low growth, corruption , bust SOEs are destroying the country.

SAM is too old to move-will have a solid Whisky at the club with the chaps tonight and curse the ANC

welcome to my club

The answers are obvious to everyone, tackle inequality through effective spend of tax revenue by providing decent basic healthcare, transport, education and security instead of creating more inequality by having BEE and AA. Those policies are basically pandering.

Scrapping those policies is a no brainer but will not happen in SA because a large chunk of voters are uneducated and have to live day by day instead of thinking medium to long term.

Half the ANC are pushing to squeeze the last bit of milk out of the cow with policies like EWC, prescribed assets and NHI. Take what’s left and then who knows what happens.

The other half has put their pinky into the pool of corrective action for SA.

We are basically hanging in the balance and I’m not convinced it is going to fall on the right side of this.

Apart from nitpicking, I cannot find fault with this article, being a reflection of the true ZA status.
Personally, I have 3 members of an extensive family left in SA, of which 2 of them are leaving for Australia. Most of the people I worked for have left, with Australia, UK, US, NZ,and of course the Diaspora who left for better income, buying houses in those places to rent out as they have free accommodation and other benefits. I dont see them coming back.
They are all professionals or skilled in scarce skills.
Te main reasons for leaving are -My children’s future and safety first.
After that the usual, crime, security, corruption, bee,infrastructure collapse, high taxation,a ridiculous constitution where the guilty have more protection than the victim,etc. ad nauseam.
In the years preceding democracy, we had no problem inducing engineers from all over the world to join our company. I understand that is no longer the case.

The subject of emigration from South Africa seems to be one of those topics that never make it into “polite society”, like white and black privilege, what REALLY happened during the ANC’s exile years, how Nelson and Winnie got their wealth, the racial breakdown of matric and university passes and drop-outs, etc.

One factor is definitely the “fame and fortune” pull of other lands. Throughout history, young mostly men have set off for the “bright lights”, often where the money and the best in their fields are. It is similar to urbanisation. SA has been no exception, attracting adventurers during the mineral rush and exporting future Nobel Prize winners, Elon Musks, Mark Shuttleworths and Donny Gordons since. In a few cases some return, bringing best practice skills with them (Chris Barnard being a prime example).

But the push of an increasingly racially, class and wealth divided and authoritarian South Africa becoming more and more hostile to the individual, others and non-conformers has been an increasing factor since 1948 and before.

It was freudian of Ramaphosa that, even in a joke, he uses a compulsion metaphor — “tie to a tree” — instead of, say, “making the SA grass greener”, “nurture their roots”, “provide shade and shelter”.

Climate change for the worst. South Africa in the top five now, going down to Dutch levels, will see emigration numbers beyond belief. The last one have to dose fire, not need turn of a switch. Brains governing did do their utmost to stop the holiday flow of visitors. Having it all for themselves is a sign of anything but not brains at work. With universities fully loaded of the best available, this land should have no discussions of brains, skills, leaving. Escorting the stupid out, yes.

There are a lot of skilled Zimbabweans, Indians, Ghanaian skilled labour moving to SA. Yes there is another angle that these researchers are not looking at. All they look at is the white population leaving

Yes there is limitation to our their economic participation, eg they dont usually buy property, but they do rent.

Of-course 1st price is to halt emmigration.

The moment the ANC nationalises my medical aid payments for the NHI, I will be joining the queue. To be forced to use government facilities for medical treatment will be a death sentence and I’m not able to double-fund another government-related expense.

Same here!

Also, am worried with fewer skills, how will it be possible in future to bring water from the river or dam (that is, if it still have water..) , know how to get it pumped & pipe it to one’s house? And the filtration/sewerage processes? (..already under stress).

So far so good. Another decade along the line…eish, it is going to be a struggle.

Eskom is kids play compared to whats coming down the line in terms of water infrastructure failures… There is no money, how can it be maintained… collapse is inevitable

Pres Cyril Ramaphosa wanted to (jokingly) “tie white South Africans to a tree” to prevent skills leaving.

Dear Mr President, we will metaphorically DEFEAT the rope (who designed rope you think?), and we will even UPROOT the tree, and take it along with us to a foreign place where the poor tree will start to FLOURISH and bear even BIGGER fruit!

(If the tree happen to die during transport, we would’ve taken samples of seed & extracted and copied DNA/genetics from the tree, to create a healthier, stronger tree, precisely matching the foreign soil.)

Well articulated Mr Wessels.

And from Cape Town here are a few reasons why people are leaving: another farmer murdered in Stellenbosch, barbed wire strung across an off ramp on the N2 by hijackers, trains burned again at Cape Town station rendering the service even more abysmal, children shot in crossfire in township gang wars, a surfer kidnapped and murdered by a couple of drugged up scum in Kommetjie, rocks and concrete block on Baden Powell Drive forcing early morning motorists to stop or slow down and get robbed or killed, a truck driver burnt to death by a petrol bomb thrown into his cab after which the truck was looted, a taxi driver shoots up a Golden Arrow bus for not allowing him to do what he wants on the road ….

These are everyday reports on just one radio station, Cape Talk Eyewitness News

And Dear Cyril has the temerity to want people to stay here in this failed state when they can enjoy a far less stressed out life in Australia?

What a laugh …

As mentioned in reply to a comment below, I left in 2008 with my wife and 4 kids aged 3 – 8. Hardest thing I have ever done. Making money in SA is so easy. In the land of the blind…. Anyway. Africa is not for sissies. Neither is emigration. But with each passing day of the SA story – as it has unfolded over the last 11 years, I thank God I am here, and not back home. It was tough. But I am free. And my kids are free. Wow.

The logic according to the ANC: Chase the skilled and job-creating people away and watch the economy grow.

My son achieved 100% in all exams to become a Civil Engineer. He could not get promoted in South Africa because of his skin colour so left and started in England before leaving for Australia. He now has his own buisiness in Australia and employs mainly Ex South Africans. He has a staff of 18 civil engineers working for him. He absolutely refuses to come and visit back in South Africa. We have been over there for 4 three month visits. I do not know how much longer we can carry on visiting him as money gets tighter and tighter. We really miss him and his family, I just do not know what more to say. Really very very sad.

On the question of your son not wanting to visit you and his mother, perhaps a compromise can be reached to keep your costs down and him avoiding this cesspool. Meet up for a holiday in say Mauritius? Or even Thailand or thereabouts. I can’t imagine not seeing my children and the grandchildren for extended periods. Devastating, specially with time on earth being limited due to ageing. Face Time or Skype just doesn’t do it for me.

I care nothing for semantics or emotion. I am setting up my three children to leave and then my wife and I will follow in due course. In the meantime I’m externalising every cent I have. My peer group is being decimated by emigration and I live in the Cape! I can only imagine Gauteng and KZN etc. My ethnic type seems to be very unwelcome and unsafe in a land my family has lived in since 1820 (the settlers) and so decision must and has been made. I will leave and never look back

The other side of the coin is that this represents an enormous opportunity for those that bravely choose to stay with less competition and more chance of success in a smaller pool. Just a different way of looking at the realities of an emerging market.

Of my B.Sc. Engineering graduation class at Wits university, I am the only one left in the country. All the rest, all races, have left for better opportunities in other countries. And I have been “self-employed, part time” for a number of years now. I would leave too if I needed to earn money.

No place for highly skilled, value-adding, wealth creating graduates in SA any more.

It’s no good “tying skilled whites to trees”, you have to give incentives to stay, not force.

Taking this further, the State can’t tax the country out of poverty. It has to create the wealth in the first place, before distribution. For that, it must have people with the technical, scientific and engineering skills that can innovate, add value and create wealth, such as through manufacturing and exporting high-value goods and services. If the State loses these, it must import from the countries to which the skills have been lost.

Read more into the tie us to trees comment… They are going to make it harder to leave, exchange controls will eventually come back… deteriorate international relationships to make RSA citizens less desirable, remove visa free access and the reciprocal happens, not issue police clearances in a reasonable time period (already happens), not resolve tax issues leaving red flags for new host countries, cancel DTA’s so nail people which are exposed… And hide all of this policy behind bureaucratic inefficiency…

Mr Karnati desperately tries to discredite a sound article by Mr Wessels pointing to absolutely minor quibles.
He also refers to the valuable, skilled persons immigrating. With the odd exception this must be total nonsense. He provides no backing for this statement while know that visas for skilled professionals are very difficult and awkward to obtain.
It serves no good purpose to place a long letter on such doubtful premises.

For those beating the “it will get better drum” please now this has been flogging a dead horse for the better part of about 30 years now. I would hazard a guess that you have been sitting too close to the microwave drying out your underwear. Remove the blinkers and smell the cesspool that is RSA. Not just financially speaking but morally speaking as well. It’s asking a drunk if he’s too drunk for another drink analogy. Asb man…

it’s really not rocket science, encouraging people to remain here/return.Defeat crime, employ technocrats in govt, cut red tape/regulations/taxes all over, sell off SOE’s, free up the economy so that growth hits 5% and above, reintroduce family planning campaigns. All this will bring in foreign investment. A booming economy is the surest drawcard to keeping skills here. If govt is unsure about whether it will work or not, then study the success of Asia’s tigers, eg Singapore, SKorea,Taiwan, Thailand et al.

We’d be lucky to find 10 – 15 % of the “technocrats” that would be needed with the general educational standards achieved over the past 20 – 25 years, not to mention those who have emigrated. Nope. I do not see the potential of success never mind the political will. Yours pessimistically, …..

My family arrived in South Africa 300 years ago and suffered enormous hardships. They started as farmers and builders and ended up as a successful business pioneers who have created thousands of jobs and opportunities for people of all races.
I for one am not giving up that easily – it’s worth fighting for what you believe in and what you have worked hard for.
There are still working institutions in this country and the rule of law still counts for something. Instead of criticizing and moaning, how about seeing the still enormous opportunities in our country – so you might have to fight for it, but it will be worth it in the end.
No one has ever won a battle by just walking away. Be part of the change and the solution,not part of the problem.

Mac, I know the feeling. I have a farm paid for over three generations, title deeds in hand and the Cyril ANC wants to take it away for nothing. I would like to farm, my son wants to farm but I do not see it happening in this ANC SA; ever. Do I fight to the last cent or cut my losses, sell and move on? Note the Sensei Holocaust quote and Zim next door. Dying for a country where you are not even rated as a citizen is well, over rated.

Mac ek gaan ook maar nog vasbyt saam met jou.

End of comments.



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