Skilled foreigners can’t get past home affairs, and SA is paying ...

Business

Skilled foreigners can’t get past home affairs, and SA is paying the price

Foreigners bring investment, skills and business capability, but SA appears to regard them all with suspicion

Stefanie de Saude-Darbandi

Recent news reports point to an ever-weakening economy, shocking unemployment levels and a worrying skills exodus. The taxpayer base is being eroded as the very South Africans qualified to build the economy leave the country in droves.

While SA loses skills, business capital and jobs as a result, other countries are gaining – partly thanks to their initiatives to offer “golden visas”, in which applicants must invest heavily in their destination country and are given residency or citizenship in return. These golden, or investor, visas, offered by more than 20 countries worldwide, require investments of R2m-R20m and are reported to have grossed more than €25bn in Europe alone during the past 10 years.

Applicants are often required to invest in property and some form of national development fund for a minimum period, bringing significant revenues into the destination country. In addition to their financial investment, new residents or citizens also bring with them spending power, skills, tax revenues and the probable creation of jobs in their new home country...

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