Find out why young, skilled professionals are flocking to Gauteng and where the rest of South Africa’s skilled labour are relocating to.
What is semigration?
Semigration refers to the movement of people from one region of a country to another. People often relocate to another region that has better economic performance, which gives people more confidence in their region’s economic stability. Another important reason why people relocate is lifestyle – other regions within the country may offer them a lifestyle that better suits their needs.
According to the 2017 FNB Estate Agent Survey, the economic slowdown over the last few years has caused a rise in the rate of semigration in South Africa. The number of people selling their homes in order to relocate to other parts of South Africa peaked at 10% in 2016.
Gauteng attracts the most first time home buyers
Gauteng is attracting the most first time home buyers out of all the regions in South Africa. With its economic performance being among the highest in the country, Gauteng is the business hub of South Africa and has many job opportunities available in a variety of sectors. Gauteng’s range of commuting options make it easy to get around and attract people ready for a fast-paced, career-focussed life. Young, skilled people are flocking to both Johannesburg and Tshwane to begin their careers, and entering the housing market soon afterwards. FNB statistics show that 28% of all Tshwane home buyers are first time buyers, and 22% of all Johannesburg home buyers are first time buyers. These statistics are significantly higher than anywhere else in the country, for example Cape Town, which is at 10%.
The Western Cape is also attracting a lot of skilled labour, as it is the most popular destination for people in South Africa who wish to relocate. However, these are older, repeat home buyers that are in search of a different lifestyle. According to the FNB Estate Agent Survey, only 3% of home sellers in Cape Town are relocating to another part of South Africa, compared to a whopping 17.7% of sellers in Nelson Mandela Bay. Unlike Gauteng, people who are moving to the Western Cape are already established and are looking for a quieter, safer and less congested way of life.
Emigration is on the rise
Emigration happens for many of the same reasons as semigration, and seems to follow the economic cycles both nationally and internationally. The FNB Estate Agent Survey shows that emigration is on the rise - the number of people selling their homes to emigrate has increased from 2% to 5.8% over the last two years. Emigration is occurring roughly equally from all regions of South Africa, which shows that there has been a decline in confidence in the country and its economic performance. This can largely be attributed to the interest rate hikes which began in 2014.
To conclude, both Gauteng and the Western Cape are attracting most of South Africa’s skilled labour, albeit for different reasons. The expected result of this is that these regions will economically outperform the others, for the foreseeable future.