2004 March 25 Thursday
Brain Drain From South Africa Accelerates

More professionals are fleeing South Africa.

The number of skilled professionals leaving the country went up by 62 percent last year, according to a report by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA).

These professionals are equivalent to the canary in the coal mine. South Africa's decline must be accelerating. Consider that this flight is happening even while the labor market is very weak in the United States and not any better in Europe. The flight is happening across a large assortment of professions.

The report said 192 medical practitioners left in 2003, compared with 117 in 2002. It costs a minimum of R120 000 to train doctors over seven years.

Teachers have also left in droves to work in Britain and the US, with 666 leaving last year, compared with 410 in 2002; while 736 people in the accounting profession emigrated last year, up from 529 in 2002.

The more the brains flee the worse conditions will get for those who remain. So this process will accelerate as long as there is enough talent remaining to flee. In the white population the smarter ones probably have much easier time finding work abroad and so it is likely the remaining whites are not as smart on average as those who have already left. Therefore the remaining ones will find it harder to find places they can escape to.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2004 March 25 01:05 PM  Immigration Brain Drain

linden said at March 25, 2004 3:41 PM:

This touches on something I've often wondered about South Africa since the end of apartheid: Basically, has there been an exodus of Afrikaaners?

Sam said at March 26, 2004 7:06 AM:

It happens when things get bad. It happened in Cuba, although the crack "not as smart" does not hold. In Cuba, not only professionals left, but tradesmen, such as plumbers, electricians, and so on.

In California, where the reverse descrimination is bad, it's about the same. The young, elderly and poor stay, and the only way out it by college degree or the military.

linden said at March 26, 2004 1:27 PM:

"In California, where the reverse descrimination is bad, it's about the same. The young, elderly and poor stay, and the only way out it by college degree or the military."

Huh? What do you mean?

Peter said at March 30, 2004 11:14 PM:

Estimates are that each job in South Africa's formal sector supports 13 people (extended family members usually). When I closed up my business and left, 120 jobs were gone overnight. Professionals represent a "traceable" drain, but the quiet exodus of other skilled (not so easily tracked) individuals represents possibly a greater loss.

As for who is exiting, those who can! This crosses language and racial barriers.

Clare said at April 25, 2005 2:32 PM:

What makes you Afrikaners think that all those remaining in South Africa are stupid? It takes time for things to turn around, and I have hope that things will get better. It's irritating that you people just leave when things were not in your favor, but as soon as the country is back on its feet, you'll be back to cash in on the profits, right?! All you can do is sit back and criticise...it's a shame, but that's why some of you white SOUTH AFRICANS will never change. You just take your racist and oppressive attitudes wherever you go, and infiltrate the minds of those you encounter. It's really too bad...God sal jou straf.....

Ignoramus said at June 28, 2005 7:32 PM:

what brains?

saycheese said at September 29, 2005 4:04 PM:

If it had not been for the racist intents of white settlers in Africa and apartheid in the FIRST PLACE... There would never have been such a disadvantage as far as education. The invention of guns, for some reason, made whites believe that they could go and murder and STEAL from others (land, culture, women, resources). How in the world is this a great ancestry to BOAST about??? hmmm... I'm confused... But, I will say, that as an African American, I am ever so grateful to see South Africa getting back on its feet-- by those who it is entitled to FROM GOD-- TRUE South Africans. All Africans will become educated, and continue their trade with the rest of Asia... And quite frankly... White supremecist Europeans will have more to worry about (thank GOD, not all Europeans are this Neanderthal in thinking)... haha Unless of course... We all just learn to love one another and get along... That could actually be wonderful... Not to eliminate anyone's race... But to accept all the races as flowers in a beautiful garden only God could have created. GO BACK TO EUROPE!!! Quit stealing peoples lands, and you won't have to worry about multi-culturalism. On another note... No one seemed to think America would make it without Britain... Guess what happened???

Randall Parker said at September 29, 2005 4:34 PM:


Zimbabwe has few whites left and Zimbabwe is an economic basket case. That is South Africa's future once enough whites leave.

Mr. Truth said at January 1, 2006 1:01 AM:

Ignoramus, blacks of South Africa had little civ before those Europeans came. Those more native South Africans you favor so much had brutal, horrible, and deadly enough practices in their native state that would knock your eyes out if you knew more about them. There are no neandertals in the ancestry of any europeans. Paabo proved that nine years ago.

Mr Truth said at January 1, 2006 1:09 AM:

Excuse me, Ignoramus. My valid comments are to the person beneath you. And to this person. Blacks are often now in Britain, do you wish they'd leave and go elsewhere as you do whites of S. africa? Or do you have double standards about blacks being allowed to settle anywhere on earth but not whites as well?

Rothblatt said at March 2, 2006 11:38 AM:

Just a question: Of all the significant advances in human civilization, how many of them originated in Africa?

Virtually every breakthrough occurred somewhere else in the world - Theory of relativity, Quantum Physics, Computers, Electricity, etc.

Virtually all the African dialects rely on the western alphabet unlike languages from Asia, Europe and the Americas which all have their own alphabets and system of writing.

Makes you think doesn't it?

Nicole Theron said at June 5, 2006 1:39 AM:

I went to New Zealand with my husband a Doctor in 2003. He worked in Auckland I have to say that I am so much happier back in South Africa now. Yes there is crime and unfortunately until something is seriously done about poverty in this country it will just get worse.

The working conditions and pay in Auckland were not better but in fact worse. By the way he had a post as a Registrar he was not just some locum GP. The standard of living in South Africa is much better no doubts about it. As for racism I have never been so confronted with the issue as I was in New Zealand. There it is a huge issue the crazy thing is that Pacific Islanders and the Maori population get benefits many of them do not even work and go on the social grant system yet they complain even though though it is the white man that is putting food on the table, what more must the white man do for them? It seems there is always something to complain about?Funny enough the Indian and Chinese communities of this country work hard and invest in the country yet they are usually treated like absolute dirt by both white and Pacific Islanders in New Zealand.

If the very poor in South Africa had the same system as New Zealand I think it would be a very differnt situation.
People here are not afraid to work but unfortunately there is so very little work to be found and the salaries are pathetic.Security guards for example get paid no more than R1000 a month for a dangerous job it is no no wonder that they are currently striking. Who can live on that amount of money?!

I say lets get a social grant system at least so people can aford to eat every month.Our politicians should start at trying to build a black middle class instaed of a black elite who are no better than the white Afrikanner of the old days.

Truth be told and I have heard this from the mouths of the very poor , those who live in shacks and do not have the luxury of sitting in front of a computer like us, that at least in the old system their child never went hungry. How sad that one has to even think of the benafits of what was a cruel and inhumane system like aparteid. It just goes to show that the new black elite have forgotten their routes and are out for themselves.Why not learn from the Jewish,Portuguse,Greek and in particular the Indian communities who have always helped each other when in times of need look how these communities have made it in this country especially since many started with not a cent to their names.

The black man will never make it until he makes a difference within his own community and that does not equate to enriching himself which is what most of them IN POWER seem to think.Do not expect the White man or the Asians to create the path for you and yes if we have to we will GO BACK TO EUROPE. BUT FAIR IS FAIR THOSE BLACKS WHO DO LIVE IN EUROPE CAN DO THE SAME AND RETURN TO AFRICA THEIR MOTHERLAND since they do nothing but complain and expect to enforse their ways on our CONTINENT-EUROPE but GOD FORBID IF WE DO THE SAME IN AFRICA THEN WE ARE RACIST PIGS.

William J. Gibbons said at June 14, 2008 6:46 PM:

Who remembers Farmer Martin Olds, who was besieged in his isolated tobacco farm by a gang of 100 black thugs? After holding them off for many hours, he was finally wounded, driven from his burning farm, then killed. The attackers were unleashed as a part of a campaign by Zimbabwe’s deranged Marxist terrorist, Robert Mugabe, to divert attention from the nation’s collapsing economy, and to restore his waning political power, by whipping up hatred of the nation’s few remaining white farmers.

These whites, many third generation natives, owned a sizeable portion of the nation’s prime farmland, and produced 80% of Zimbabwe’s agricultural exports. Without them, Zimbabwe’s economy would and has collapsed. But Mugabe still chose to revive racial hatreds from the 1970-1980 black-white war in former Rhodesia that cost 27,000 lives.

The farm murders in Zimbabwe brings back ugly memories. Back in the late 1980’s, I accompanied black South African troops patrolling the Limpopo River border between Zimbabwe and South Africa. Bands of African National Congress thugs and pillagers, described in the western press as ‘freedom fighters,’ were raiding isolated farm houses along the Limpopo. I vividly recall one-burned out farm where a 74-year old man and his 68-year old wife had held off some 200 ANC ‘fighters’ for an entire night. The marauders finally ignited the roof with Molotov cocktails and drove the occupants outside. The old man was shot, then hacked to death with machetes; his wife was gang raped, then slashed to death. This was a part of South Africa’s and Zimbabwe’s anti-white ‘liberation struggle’ the outside world was not shown.

Whites have been largely driven from African nations where they once lived in significant numbers. Many lost everything they owned. Many of them were not even large landowners, but farm laborers and blue or white collar workers.

The once substantial European and Asian populations of East Africa - Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania - were forced to flee. The important South Asian Hindu and Muslim communities of Uganda and Kenya were terrorized into exile after their shops were looted and many of their women raped or threatened by rape. Zanzibar’s entire Arab population - tens of thousands of people - was massacred in 1964

Hundreds of thousands of Portugese, some from families that had lived for 300 years in Africa, were driven from Mozambique, Angola, and Portugese West Africa. South Africa’s remaining 5 millon whites, some whose families came in the mid 1600’s, are fleeing in increasing numbers as crime engulfs the nation. As in Zimbabwe, black extremists in South Africa are calling for confiscation of all white ‘colonialist’ property.

The view that Africa’s whites are later-day colonialists who deserve to be expelled is widely shared by the western media. After all, they or their fathers had settled in lands that originally belonged to blacks. This view is not only simplistic , it’s often wrong.

The African continent has seen vast population and tribal movements over the past 600 years. Bantu blacks only began to filter out of the Congo basin southwards towards today’s South Africa in the 1500’s. White settlers from Flanders and Europe actually preceeded them to the Cape Colony. In 1838, Boer pioneers moving north, and Zulu forces expanding south, met and fought in northern Transvaal. During the same era, the mighty Zulu Empire was conducting the notorious ‘mfakane,’ -or mass slaughter and ethnic cleansing - of their tribal enemies, the Xhosa and Shona, an event that still stokes tribal tensions today in South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Much of Africa’s peripheral areas were barely populated during the early era of European colonial rule, or inhabited by non-Bantu peoples who have died out, like the Cape’s Hottentots, or been displaced, like Tutsis, or Tuaregs. In effect, Bantu Africans have no better historical claim to many parts of once European-ruled Africa than do descendents of whites, Indians or Arabs.

Most important, as I found during East Africa’s bush wars, white Rhodesians and South African Boers were not Europeans at all, but two distinct African tribes that happened to have white skins.

A few nights in the field with the famed Rhodesian Selous Scouts commandos left me in awe of these burly, hard-drinking, men who spoke badly mauled English and knew the bundu - or bush- like the backs of their big, weather-beaten hands. Europeans they were not.

The real problem in Zimbabwe is not that a tiny white minority has usurped the only fertile land. Zimbabwe, and the rest of Africa, have plenty of potentially productive land that today lies fallow or was ruined by bad farming methods. Governments across black Africa make life miserable for farmers.

Consider: if properly farmed, Angola alone could feed all of sub-Saharan Africa. Mugabe and his ‘liberators’ ought to go develop and irrigate new land rather than steal the property of Zimbabwean citizens whose only crime is to be white and productive. Hopefully, Mugabe will back down under world pressure and stop his little race war.

Eric Margolis.

John Dietrich said at December 9, 2008 8:37 AM:

The more whites do for blacks, the more they are despised and hated. Blacks are taught at home and school that the white man caused all their problems.
In the olden days, a white man's income went to support and uplift his family and his own people. Now, white man is heavily taxed and the monies given to nonwhites, who resent the white man more each day.
The white man is the goose that laid the golden egg, and the black man kills the goose whenever he has the chance.
The sooner white folks everywhere realize what we in the South have always known, the sooner there will be an uprising and blacks will be rounded up and shipped back to Africa.

The Slayer said at April 19, 2009 5:26 AM:

John Dietrich you son of a bitch - fuck off and die you filthy racist!! You need to get your head cleaned out boy and some sense and education pumped in...

Goddard said at November 15, 2009 11:51 AM:

Hey now, don't be stupid - I have to agree that John Dietrich was overboard and definitely had racial tendencies.
But is that how you react?
"son of a bitch - fuck off and die" ???

Don't be bloody stupid. If you want to argue against him the answer is to present a logical statement WHY he's wrong - you don't jump up and start mouthing off the word "racist", alright? Imagine if every time somebody criticized Obama's policies he was called a "filthy racist", period.

Seriously - racism may be wrong, but it is NOT the ultimate trumph card in an argument. Using the word "racist" doesn't mean that you win an argument, nor does shouting off swear words about how much you want someone to die.

So get your head screwed on and calm down before you yell at someone.

And for the record, no, I do not support John Dietrich.

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