Government plans to keep tabs on emigrants
Publish date: 15 May 2017
Issue Number: 725
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
South Africans who plan to be out of the country for more than three months may be compelled to register with the government as part of plans to keep stronger ties with emigrants, Rapport reports. The Department of Home Affairs’ White Paper on international migration has been approved by Cabinet. Despite threats made by the ANC in 2015 to scrap dual citizenship, this proposal is not contained in the White Paper. The report notes that the government is seemingly worried about a loss of skills and tax income and the White Paper notes that 520 000 South Africans became expats between 1989 and 2003. Of those, 120 000 had professional qualifications and constituted 7% of the total number of professionals of the country. The White Paper also notes that emigration figures increase by 9% each year and that more black citizens are starting to emigrate. According to the document, many countries actively manage their relationships with expats and ‘some receive a substantial part of their income from foreign payments’.