S A president, Cyril Ramaphosa

‘SA’s black population considering emigration’

BLACK South Africans have identified the economic superpowers of the US and UK as among global destinations they would like to live, work and raise their children as many warm up to the idea of emigrating for better employment and business opportunities.

The issue of immigration has become a political hot potato in SA, with simmering tensions between local and foreign nationals as they fight over jobs and other economic opportunities. This has given rise to vigilante groups such as Operation Dudula, which has been holding protest marches across the country, hounding those it perceives to be in the country illegally.

In its September report, which looked into the share of registered voters in SA considering emigration, the Social Research Foundation (SRF) found that those aged between 25-29, living in urban areas, who are university graduates and earning up to R20 000 per month were considering moving abroad for better prospects.

This could result in a brain drain for SA if the country’s top skilled, young university graduates and high-earning city dwellers were to get opportunities overseas, the SRF, a think-tank focusing on public policy issues and promotion of democracy, has found. The foundation said the data is based on an opinion survey it commissioned in July and conducted telephonically among a sample of 3 204 randomly selected and demographically and regionally representative registered voters.

The overall margin of error is 1.7percent. There are 26-million registered voters in SA, according to the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC). In the report, 23.4 percent of polled registered voters said they were considering emigration, while 76.1 percent were against the idea.

 According to the SRF report, 16 percent of black people said they are considering emigrating, compared to 55 percent of coloured people, 55 percent of Indian people and 38 percent of whites. 83 percent of black people were not considering emigrating. Most black people (67 percent) said they would prefer their children to live and work abroad, compared to 79 percent of coloured people, 58 percent of Indian people and 61 percent of whites.

A minority of black people surveyed (33 percent) said they would prefer to live, work and raise their children in the US, while 17 percent chose the UK, 8 percent were in favour of Germany and 13 percent preferred Cuba. The survey found that 53 percent of respondents with university qualifications and 33 percent of matric certificate holders were considering moving abroad, while 100percent of those with no formal education said they were not leaving.

32 percent of urban dwellers were in favour of emigration, saying they would consider leaving SA, while 80percent of those in rural areas said no. Those aged 25-29 (47 percent) and 30-39 (40 percent) were in favour of emigration, while those aged 60 and older (90 percent), 50-59 (84 percent) and 18-24 (74 percent) had no plans of relocating.

Income also played a huge role among the respondents, with 92 percent of those earning more than R20 000 per month saying no to emigration, while 55percent of registered voters taking home between R12,000-R20,000 monthly said yes. —BusinessLIVE

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