Malema’s utterances cause citizens of all colours to look at emigration

2011-06-24 00:00

Several emigration agencies told Beeld that they have received up to 20% more inquiries about emigration over the past month, and especially over the past few days.

Robbie Ragless, a manager of Global Visas, said they receive about 300 inquiries a day from people wanting to emigrate.

“Crime and concern for their children’s safety are two of the major reasons people want to emigrate, but in the past month people have been harping more and more on politics and on Julius Malema in particular.

“His [Malema’s] court case, as well as his re-election as leader of the ANC Youth League, are increasingly making people want to emigrate.

“The three countries that most South Africans are moving to are Canada, Australia and New Zealand,” Ragless said.

He said most of the applications are from white Afrikaans-speaking people.

He added that 20% of applications come from black people. “Their reasons are usually that they are looking for better educational opportunities.”

John Gamberana, a partner in Trans Global Migration Services, said they can almost make a direct connection between how busy their phone lines are and “things Malema has said again” in the media.

Gamberana said fewer people emigrated in 2009 and 2010, owing to the recession and because job opportunities weren’t so freely available abroad.

“In the past month we have seen a definite increase in applications from people wanting to emigrate.

That is even more than a 20% increase.

“In people’s conversations with our staff they specifically mention Malema as one of their reasons for wanting to leave.

“I think people should realise that Julius is one of the cleverest and most honest politicians out there. He is straight about his views, such as the nationalisation of the mines.

“If you want to know what politics is going to look like in 20 years’ time, listen to him, and if people don’t agree with his ideology we are there to help them leave the country if that is what they want to do,” Gamberana said.

Paolo Jonker, a manager of Four Corners Emigration, said interest in leaving the country has increased sharply in the past month.

“Increasingly I’m hearing Julius Malema’s name.

“People are saying they don’t want to raise their children where there is no future for them.

“Crime also still plays a considerable part in people’s decision to emigrate,” said Jonker.

AfriForum’s deputy CEO, Alana Bailey, said yesterday that fewer and fewer South Africans want to return to the country as part of their Come Home campaign.

“Julius Malema plays a big part in these people’s decisions.

“Another role-player is the economic conditions, with people saying they would rather have it tough overseas than here in South Africa.”

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