Authored by: Marisa Jacobs, Managing Director at Xpatweb
On the back of our last 4 months’ client visits in the DRC, Zambia, Mauritius, Middle East and London we again had the privilege of engaging with various groups of highly skilled South Africans abroad, literally from all races, ages and backgrounds.
Many are now breaking residency with South Africa as they do not plan to return and are looking at careers and retirement plans which does not include South Africa.
One expatriate stated emotionally; their family has made the decision to ‘divorce’ South Africa.
There is no doubt a hemorrhaging of South African talent and with no formalised and centralised government tracking in place, there is perhaps a bit of an ostrich mentality as to the severity of the brain drain.
As one of the largest work permit providers, we increasingly see South African employers having to import critical skills into South Africa to fulfil key positions, but these skills do not always come with their families and their intentions are often to export their earnings to their home countries, as opposed to permanently settling and becoming permanently part of our society.
Most developing countries, including the well-developed countries such as the United States, Australia and European States, have long realised that foreign talent does not steal local jobs.
It stimulates the economy, brings in foreign capital and stimulate local job creation.
Almost without exception, their message is that their borders are welcoming foreign investors and critical skills; with private public partnerships in many instances to target this sought after groups of society.
Skills across sectors such as Information, Communication and Technology, Engineering and Executive Management have long provided a springboard for industries to develop and enable economic growth.
It is therefore a sound conclusion that the quickest way to grow an economy is with an injection of skills.
In anticipation of the budget speech, I caveat the Minister that no matter how much extra tax he is able to collect or expenditures he may cut, the books will not balance long term in the absence of policy changes that allow for the attracting and retention of foreign capital and skills.
Having a visa regime and overall business culture that is welcoming to foreigners is also important when it comes to positioning South Africa as the gateway to Africa.
South Africa’s ability to compete for and attract critical skills globally and the projects they enable, is key to realising our growth aspirations and increasing job opportunities and economic stability.
All government departments should be placed on notice that foreign investment should be treated with a clear message of welcome, which goes beyond mere rhetoric from certain ministers.
MEDIA CONTACT: Rosa-Mari Le Roux, 060 995 6277, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.atthatpoint.co.za
HOLISTIC EXPATRIATE SOLUTIONS
The Xpatweb group has been in existence for over 14 years and includes over 90 professionals, including immigration specialists, mobility practitioners, tax practitioners, attorneys, and chartered accountants. They offer holistic, client-centric, and fully compliant expatriate and work visa solutions. Clients can expect an exceptional end-to-end service that starts with an initial technical meeting to discuss any past challenges, a recommended optimal solution, and the creation of a roadmap and protocol for service delivery. They also offer an on-premises immigration audit service to confirm expatriate employees hold legally obtained, valid visas, and that their duties align with their visa conditions. In addition, their unique online immigration tracking system helps you to easily manage and track expatriate assignees across the globe, is fully customisable and dashboard-driven, and provides a secure repository for storing assignees’ documents.
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