Emigration

2009-04-20 00:00

SINCE 1994, over a million South Africans of all communities have left the country, stunting economic growth and service delivery. A survey conducted in February indicating that only 11% of the population currently wants to emigrate is encouraging. And, even better, the difference between groups is statistically insignificant.

Economic factors, historically the source of many migrations, are uppermost in people’s minds. But other survey findings were more sobering. Coloured, Indian and white South Africans indicated greater levels of pessimism regarding future job opportunities and political leadership than did blacks.

With a Jacob Zuma presidency imminent, these findings have considerable significance. If Zuma is as astute a politician as reputed, he will see the need for South Africa to revert to the days of real nation building that flourished briefly under his illustrious predecessor, Nelson Mandela. True leaders trade on any goodwill and optimism they can find.

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