[Letter] Leaving SA is becoming ever more appealing

A survey conducted by the Social Research Foundation in July found that of those who took part, 53% of university graduates and 43% of those earning more than R20,000 a month were considering leaving the country.

Overall, 23% of those surveyed said they may look to live in another country. As the average quality of life declines — the necessary result of the government’s ideological and policy choices — more South Africans will try to move abroad to live and work.

The GDP growth rate has stagnated. With inflation on a strong upward trajectory and the country more exposed to imported inflation because local manufacturing and industry capacity have been hobbled by inconsistent electricity supply, the money people earn here does not go as far as it used to.

Repaying debt, as well as the interest on that debt, has become a bigger pressure on the state fiscus. With wealthier citizens leaving the country, tax revenue collection will suffer and the state will be forced to cut back on welfare programmes.

For millions of citizens, indeed the majority, leaving the country will not be an option. With declining state capacity and depressed economic prospects on the horizon, it is best to start making plans around state-proofing one’s business and community sooner rather than later.

Even with coalition governments an ever stronger possibility after 2024, instability will remain a real risk for most South Africans.

Letter originally appeared here.

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