What about those who can’t afford to emigrate?

by | Sep 28, 2020 | Personal Finance

It is estimated that there are 25 000 skilled workers leaving South Africa every year. Private schools which have school fees ranging from R3000 per month to R15 000 per month (per pupil) are greatly affected, as parents of pupils are opting for what is considered greener, safer pastures in other countries.

Nicholas Avramis of Beaver Immigration in Cape Town says that South Africans can get through the door (of a country like Canada) with a good track record, good English skills, a four-year degree, and as little as R3million rand to invest.

While that is great news for those who meet the criteria – what though, are the options for those who can’t afford to emigrate and have to stay behind? Especially those reeling from the ravages of the Covid-19 and lockdown? Sebastien Alexanderson, CEO of the number one debt counselling company in the country, National Debt Advisors (NDA), says that because lockdown has negatively affected so many industries and people’s income were either completely lost or decreased – realistically, the options are literally to sink or swim.

“The reality is that no matter how negative many South Africans might feel about their country of birth, most do not have the financial resources, and therefore the option to pack up and leave. South Africans have no choice but to learn how to better manage their finances and their debt. And to implement it in their lifestyles and budgets ASAP.”

Those not able to leave these shores are going to have to equip themselves with sound financial practices to keep their heads above water.

Alexanderson says that National Debt Advisors has seen an increase in search for financial solutions and options across all their information and social media platforms and suggests the following:

  • Get out of denial and acknowledge that you are struggling and have a problem with your debt.
  • Draw up a detailed budget – but write it down. Don’t keep it in your head.
  • If in your budget, your expenses are exceeding your income or most of your income is going towards paying your debt – then you have a problem. Deal with it.
  • Research your options.
  • Contact a reputable, registered debt management or debt counselling firm like NDA to help you find solutions before legal action and repossession of assets take place.


Wealth Migration Review a company looking at recent wealth migration trends said,
“For instance, if a country is losing a large number of high net worth individials (HNWI’s) to migration, it is probably due to serious problems in that country such as crime, lack of business opportunities etc.
“It can also be a sign of bad things to come as HNWIs are often the first people to leave. They have the means to leave unlike middle-class citizens. If one looks at any major country collapse in history, it is normally preceded by a migration of wealthy people away from that country.”
Conversely, countries that attract HNWIs tend to be very healthy and normally have low crime rates, good schools and good business opportunities.

Common reasons why HNWIs move:

  • Safety – woman and child safety especially.
  • Lifestyle: climate, pollution, space, nature and scenery.
  • Financial concerns.
  • Schooling and education opportunities for their children.
  • Work and business opportunities.
  • Taxes.
  • Healthcare system.
  • Standard of living.
  • Oppressive government.


The group’s data shows that a significant number of wealthy South Africans are leaving the country, with over 100 HNWIs wealth outflows recorded over the past year.
Global citizenship company Henley & Partners has reported a sharp increase in South African enquiries in the third quarter compared to Q1 2020, with a nearly 50% increase in enquiries overall as the pandemic coursed around the globe.
“The tumultuous events of 2020, including the unplanned pause during the great lockdown, have resulted in people from all walks of life re-evaluating their circumstances and reconsidering how they wish to conduct their lives. And for those fortunate enough — choosing where they want to live by opting for investment migration,” said managing partner and head of South, East and Central Africa, Amanda Smit.

However, if you are of the millions who are staying because you can’t afford to emigrate – then take control of your finances and your debt. Lockdown was tough. But we are in for an even rougher ride and being prepared and informed can only stand you in good stead.

If you are still earning a salary but struggling with your budget and your debt, contact National Debt Advisors today. And one of our highly competent debt review advisors will be in touch soon.

Know your rights. Know your options. South Africa is a beautiful country and has much to offer. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

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