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Deciding to Leave South Africa for good ? Here’s why you should stay

There are compelling reasons worth considering before deciding to leave South Africa for good, to set up home in another part of the world

Africa’s best city : Cape Town. Image: Getty Imag

Life in South Africa has been rather challenging over the last year and a half, with the pandemic having changed personal circumstances for many South Africans.

While many are considering leaving the country’s shores for greener pastures, there are many things one should consider before making the move.

The old adage “the grass is always greener on the other side” might apply to South Africans who are able to enjoy comparable lifestyles in the countries they move to.

However, this is not always the case for all emigrants. It is challenging to adapt to life in another country. The process of settling in might take years for many South African migrants.

Before making the decision to leave for good it might be worth looking at some of the positives to living here in order to avoid moving to “greener pastures” only to find there are even more obstacles to contend with.

South Africa is not down and out, and its economy is beginning to show signs of improvement according to Biznews.

Here are several reasons to be optimistic about the country.

1. OWNING YOUR DREAM HOME

This year, the demand for luxury residential property has increased, undoubtedly fuelled by the record-low interest rate environment.

 

For those that think the grass will be greener outside of South Africa, consider that the current buyer’s market in South Africa means that one’s dream home is now more accessible than ever in the country.

2. SA IS HOME TO AFRICA’S BEST CITY

Travel + Leisure magazine’s World’s Best Awards recently ranked Cape Town as the top city in Africa, and the 20th best in the world, for 2021. The Mother City is also home to two of the World’s Best Restaurants for 2021, namely La Colombe and FYN.

South Africans who do not live in the Mother City but in other parts of the country, can access this premium international holiday destination, world-class dining, spectacular beaches, and globally significant heritage sites without having to break the bank.

3. STAY LOCAL, WORK GLOBAL

With the global demand for remote workers experiencing an unprecedented boom, it is now possible to work for an international company from almost anywhere in South Africa.

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For South Africans working remotely, being part of the ever-increasing global virtual workforce is an opportunity to earn in dollars but spend in rands. Whether you’re looking to improve your quality of life or to reach your financial goals sooner, staying local makes it possible.

4. TOP EMERGING MARKET CURRENCY

Following the July unrest, the rand has reclaimed its title as the strongest emerging market currency, prompting foreign investors to reassess their view of the country and appreciate the positives in its favour.

For locals, now is an ideal time to use the local currency to purchase foreign currency and invest internationally.

5. SA’S WELL REGULATED FINANCIAL SECTOR

South Africa is regarded as having a sophisticated, robust and well-regulated financial sector. While this is often overlooked by locals, it is in fact a key pillar of the local economy and is what distinguishes South Africa from its emerging market peers.

With this solid foundation, it is not surprising that the sector is innovating at a pace. Between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021, fintech app downloads in South Africa increased by 116%.

6. PERFORMANCE OF LOCAL EQUITIES

Between 1900 and 2020, South African equities generated real returns of average 7.2% per year in local currency, exceeding the returns of any other country, according to Credit Suisse.

When benchmarking in dollar terms, South Africa’s returns took third place after the U.S. and Australia. The impressive historical performance of local equities suggests that for those who are willing to play the game long-term, there are investment rewards.

7. STAY LOCAL BUT INVEST GLOBAL

Access to the international financial scene is a key factor in maintaining a diversified portfolio and ensuring long-term financial health – but it does not come cheaply.

Numbeo’s Cost of Living Index 2021 named four South African cities (Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban) in the 40.94 – 48.47 range, while the top 15 cities scored over 100.00.

The lower cost of living in South Africa puts one in a better position to direct one’s resources to invest globally via the many offshore options available locally.

The SouthAfrican

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