As South Africa’s news headlines fills with reports of violent crimes and femicide more and more locals are losing faith in their country and apply to live elsewhere.
Immigration firm Xpatweb says that they have seen a 364 percent increase, since 2018, in the number of South Africans applying for second European Union passports by way of investments.
Areas such as Cyprus, Greece, Malta and Portugal have seen a drastic increase in applications.
“With a European Passport, the prospect of living in any country forming part of the European Union is highly attractive. South Africans are looking to their future and that of their children, the idea of having the opportunity to study and work in any country across the EU remains appetising,” says Marisa Jacobs from Xpatweb.
While considering their futures it seems a large number of locals are under the impression that a better life will be offered in other countries that are free from excessive violence and poverty.
Possibly the only downside of this idea are the new SA tax laws which will come into effect from March 2020. Under these laws South Africans will only be exempt from paying tax up to the first million earned in a foreign country. Along with this, South Africans will need to spend a minimum of 183 days outside of their home country each year in order to be considered exempt.
One of the main motivations behind the flood of applicants seems to be the ease of travel the South African passport allows, offering visa free access to 100 countries.
“Thus, travel, education, employment, business opportunities and safeguarding a better future for their family are key reasons for record numbers of South Africans in the past 12 months applying for Second EU Passports,” adds Jacobs.
In a constrast to this movement, a local Facebook group called #ImStaying is highlighting all the reasons South Africa is worth living in. One thing is for sure, South Africa is going through a lot of changes and no one knows what the future holds just yet.