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Fed Up And Desperate South Africans Are Looking To Other Countries In Search Of Better Opportunities

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Fed up and desperate South Africans are looking to other countries in search of better opportunities, but high net worth foreigners are flocking here for a better quality of life.

Rampant crime, corruption and, to a lesser extent the country’s ongoing electricity woes, are listed as some of the reasons why South Africans are heading for the exit. The Covid-19 pandemic is also no longer a deterrent to travelling.

Top of the lost-skills list are doctors, accountants, IT specialists and even media professionals who are looking for greener pastures, mainly in English language countries.

Results of a survey released by infoQuest/TrendER this week indicated that 5% of employed South Africans had applied for residency in another country and would be emigrating soon.

Another 14% had seriously considered emigrating and had made enquiries or submitted applications.

The organisation said a further one in three employed South Africans had thought about emigrating but had not taken any further steps.

“If we extrapolate this to the actual numbers, 5% of about 15 million working South Africans indicates a staggering number of 750 000 South Africans getting ready to leave imminently,” said Claire Heckrath, managing director of infoQuest.

Experts say New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the UK are perennial favourites for those seeking a better life outside the country, but Portugal and Panama are growing in popularity and have been added to the list.

On the flip side, new SA residents, mainly from Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK, view South Africa as their playground because of its natural beauty, open spaces and larger living areas.

But there’s a caveat: you have to be affluent to get around the loadshedding, crime, health and education troubles you will encounter in your new home.

Property and immigration experts say Hermanus is the place of choice for foreigners who relocate to South Africa, while Cape Town and Plettenberg Bay come a close second.

Tax and immigration experts say the favourable exchange rate for people from Europe means they get more value for money when they buy property here than they would get in their own countries.

The beauty of the whales in Hermanus, its proximity to Cape Town and the top notch infrastructure in the area are all selling points, says Annien Borg, an area manager for Pam Golding estate agency.

Borg said foreigners were willing to fork out R50m for a lavish house or even R22m for a vacant plot in the seaside town.

South Africans in new countries say it’s the safety, good education and hope for better opportunities that saw them take the plunge.

However, it’s not necessarily easier for everyone: some have to work even harder than before, and take on two jobs to maintain the standard of living they had back home.

Sable International migration manager Sarah Young said she had assisted 300 families to relocate to Portugal through that country’s golden visa investment programme.

She said the volatility of the rand, safety and security and high unemployment rates are what spurred on her clients to make the move.

Young said other countries like Malta, Ireland and Grenada were also becoming popular.

Biokineticist Michelle das Neves moved to Portugal at the start of this year, just after getting married, citing crime, feeling unsafe, the breakdown of facilities, racism and the growing inequality as reasons she and her husband left.

While she ran a successful practice with more than one consulting room in SA, she now splits her time between her medical profession and selling houses.

Despite doing well as an estate agent and being acknowledged as “rookie of the quarter”, she says wearing two hats was tiring but worth it.

“I’m very happy that the lights stay on and the water stays on and that I can walk in the street and I don’t have to be paranoid about my bag in my car,” said Das Neves.

She said while there was crime, it wasn’t violent crime that South Africans were exposed to all the time.

Tax attorney Madeleine Schubart from Boshoff Inc said Portugal was popular among South Africans of retirement age because they were only subjected to a 10% tax in that country. In addition it was only high net worth individuals who were considering that as a new place to settle.

She said the cost of living was favourable in Portugal while those going to Panama saw it as a foot in the door to getting their children educated in the US.

She said a substantial number of farmers had also left SA and gone to the US where they became farm managers, while the UK was usually favoured by engineers and young professionals.

“South Africa doesn’t always have the next step available for the very ambitious,” she said.

Andrew Kerr, a director at Network Migration, said currently New Zealand was the most popular destination among his clients.

Over 25 years he has helped 12 000 families emigrate from South Africa to New Zealand or Australia. He said NZ was their number one destination and had been for the last 10 years, and was popular among all age groups, from 21 to 55, regardless of ethnicity or education.

He said the reasons for leaving were mostly for the future of their children, but also high unemployment, crime and Eskom.

Kerr said it took two to five years to get back to the standard of living you had achieved before leaving SA and that it took three to six months to immigrate to New Zealand and 12 to 18 months for Australia.

Durban businesswoman Samanthra Pillay, her husband Sugan and their two daughters sold their business a few months ago and their home on Sunday and will head to New Zealand in November.

Pillay said they wanted better opportunities and education for their children and the best way for them to get into New Zealand was for her to apply to do a PhD in law. Once there, her husband would get a work visa and eventually they hoped for citizenship.

Johannesburg couple Jackie and Jacques Roodt and their two daughters are scheduled to fly to New Zealand on October 12.

Roodt, who is in the IT field, already has a job there, while they managed to secure a place to live and a school for their children so they could hit the ground running.

Tax specialist Jeremy Burman said the imposition of a possible wealth tax was not a major reason for emigration.

He said South Africa already had several taxes which could be regarded as forms of wealth tax like capital gains tax, transfer duty, estate duty and donations tax.

Burman urged possible emigrants to get the proper financial and tax advice before leaving the country so that they could plan.

He said there were many misconceptions around exit tax in particular which he described as “almost a last bite” for SARS to get a cut out of your assets before leaving for good.

The Independent on Saturday

Source: iol.co.za

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Elon Musk Hopes to Test a Brain Implant in Humans Next Year

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In this still image from the Neuralink presentation video on YouTube, a presenter, lower left, described how a monkey used a wireless transmitter to “type” characters on a keyboard.Credit...Neuralink

Neuralink, the startup Elon Musk founded to link our brains directly to computers, showed progress Wednesday in two medical areas: helping blind people to see and helping people with spinal cord injuries to walk or use their hands.

The company, one of five that Musk leads, is working on technology to drop thousands of electrodes thinner than a hair into the outer surface of human brains. Each electrode is a tiny wire connected to a battery-powered, remotely recharged, quarter-sized chip package that’s embedded into a spot that once held a circle of skull. The chip, called the N1, communicates wirelessly with the outside world.

The technology is still far from the initial medical uses, much less Musk’s ultimate vision of using Neuralink to hang out with superintelligent AIs. But the company is making significant progress, including applying with the Food and Drug Administration to begin human trials it hopes to start within six months, the company said at a “show and tell” event lasting more than two hours.

“Our goal will be to turn the lights on for someone who’s spent decades living in the dark,” said Neuralink researcher Dan Adams, who’s working on the effort to repackage camera data into a brain-compatible format and pipe it directly to the visual cortex.

Musk has some cred when it comes to revolutionary tech. His electric-vehicle company Tesla is profoundly changing cars and his SpaceX outfit is transforming space access with reusable rockets. His reputation as a tech genius has taken a beating, though, with the chaos at Twitter after his $44 billion acquisition. Musk’s Boring Company, which aims to revamp auto transportation with tunnels, also hasn’t lived up to its promises yet.

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US President Joe Biden turns 80 Today: New Generation’ of Democratic Leaders Takes Control in Congress

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President Joe Biden will celebrate his 80th birthday on Sunday, marking the first time a sitting president has reached that milestone while in office and fueling speculation about how his advancing age will affect his political future.

Biden — who was the oldest person to assume the presidency in January 2021, just 61 days after his 78th birthday — has said he intends to make another White House bid, even as his age-adjacent peers, including 82-year-old House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have made the decision to step away from leadership in order to make way for a younger generation.

“My intention is that I will run again. But I’m a great respecter of fate and this is ultimately a family decision. I think everybody wants me to run but we’re going to have discussions about it. And I don’t feel any hurry one way or the other to make that judgment.” he said last week, after helming what many say is the most successful midterm election for a sitting president’s party in decades, though noting that those results would not have an impact on his decision to run again.

PHOTO: President Joe Biden greets guests before speaking at an event at the White House complex, Nov. 18, 2022, in Washington, D.C.

Biden is the oldest person to serve as commander in chief in the nation’s history. Should he seek reelection in 2024 and win, the president would be 86 by the end of his second term. He has said he’ll talk over his future with his wife and the rest of his family over the holidays.

Biden has said he is hoping that he and his wife “get a little time to actually sneak away for a week around between Christmas and Thanksgiving” and that his decision to run for reelection will likely “be early next year we make that judgment.”

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Shanquella Robinson’s Death in Cabo, Father Believes Attack Was a Set Up

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Shanquella Robinson‘s mysterious death in Mexico smells like a set up to her father … he tells TMZ he believes his daughter was attacked as part of a diabolical plan.

Shanquella, who was from North Carolina, was found dead last month in her room in Los Cabos … where she was vacationing with a group of friends. Her parents say the friends told them the 25-year-old died of alcohol poisoning.

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