Immigration lawyers have noticed a spike in inquiries from South African residents interested in emigrating from one or two a week last year to about 10 a week now.
Even the NGO Homecoming Revolution, which encourages expats to return to South Africa, admits there is a spike of “negative sentiment” in the country.
Homecoming Revolution CEO Angel Jones puts the feelings of despair down to load-shedding, xenophobic attacks, weak leaders, crime, the Omar al-Bashir saga and South Africa’s alleged involvement in the Fifa corruption scandal.
Sadly Jones’organisation saw no benefits from attacking Afrikaans-language schools.
“The main destinations people plan to go to are the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand in that order,” immigration lawyer Chris Watters said.
Jennifer Vickerman, of Kramer Villion Norris Attorneys, said people who approached her about relocation cited crime, Eskom, investing abroad and better employment opportunities as the reasons behind their immigration plans.
White English-speaking South Africans worry the most about the state of government hospitals and their children’s long-term career prospects in South Africa, but one family admitted that they had had to return to the country about a year ago after living in Israel proved too expensive.
Althea Appolis, a coloured Cape Town resident, is also emigrating to Australia with her family in a few months.
“We have had enough of this place. No amount of beauty, culture or spirit can right the wrongs of the government,” she said.
“Along with at least six other families we have lodged applications for Australia via an immigration attorney, who confirmed the sudden influx of applications citing people who have decided now is the best time to leave.”
Damon Chadwick, who will graduate this year with a business degree, is planning to head to Berlin in December.