Whites leaving SA in droves

The number of white South Africans who give emigration as the reason for
selling their home has shot up in recent months as high crime levels and
political and economic uncertainty spur the flight of whites from the
Rainbow Nation.

A survey by South Africa's First National Bank (FNB) showed the
proportion of homeowners who said they were putting their homes on the
market because they were emigrating had doubled between the last quarter
of 2007 and the second quarter of 2008, from 9 percent to 18 percent.

Emigration was one of the most frequent reasons given by homeowners for
selling up, next only to downscaling because of financial pressures,
according to the FNB residential property barometer.

Foreign embassies in South Africa report a jump in emigration
applications from mainly white South Africans in recent months, amid
growing disillusionment over high levels of violent crime and the
populist slide within the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

A power crisis that has made blackouts a feature of life in a country
that prides itself on having first-world infrastructure, and a recent
outbreak of xenophobic violence have also added to sense of doom and
gloom fuelling emigration.

The Agency said the political situation and crime and violence were
behind the trend.

In South Africa, 50 people are murdered every day and over 130 rape
cases reported. While the past few years have seen a slight drop in
contact crime statistics, the level of violence used during robberies
and other criminal acts has sown terror in the population.

Many white South Africans also take a dim view of the endorsement by the
ruling ANC of party leader Jacob Zuma as its candidate for president in
2009 elections. Zuma faces trial in the coming year on charges of
corruption and fraud.

South Africa's Institute for Race Relations estimates that around
800 000 whites emigrated in the decade from 1995 to 2005. - Sapa-dpa

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/Published on the Web by IOL on 2008-07-22 17:50:42/


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