Monday, September 29, 2008
It is estimated that up to 20% of South Africa’s whites have emigrated since the end of apartheid in 1994
Anecdotal evidence suggests that Jacob Zuma’s rise, coupled with nationwide power cuts and a continuing crime wave, has led to a further massive brain drain. Polls show that 63% of South Africans have seriously considered emigration. “Among my age group the chorus is absolutely insistent,” said Geoff Landsman, 25, a civil engineer. “You must go abroad. If at all possible equip yourself with a foreign passport. I have a Dutch one. I’ll leave by Christmas. I’m not saying I’ll never come back but I want to see if I can cut it abroad.” Anna Davids, 62, an ophthalmologist, lamented: “There’s a whole generation missing. Look around. Where are the young white couples aged 25-45? At least two-thirds of them are gone.” She said that affirmative action plans discouraged young whites from staying. “Everything’s loaded against young whites, no matter how well qualified they are.” Crime is still alarmingly high. In 2007, the country saw 18,487 murders, 36,190 rapes, 14,481 home invasions, 14,201 carjackings and 118,312 aggravated robberies. Zuma has sought to calm fears, but seems oblivious to the fact that appearing at celebrations as a Zulu warrior, replete with leopard skins and assegai (a type of spear), and singing “Mshini Wam” (Bring Me My Machine-gun) at party rallies does little to inspire confidence.