Bayleys: South Africans look to New Zealand
October 20, 2008
prompts South Africans
to look to New Zealand
Rampant crime, corruption and an uncertain future in their homeland are leading growing numbers of South Africans to look at settling in New Zealand.
Bill Whalan, a director of Bayleys Canterbury, Wanaka and Queenstown, recently travelled to South Africa to promote New Zealand property opportunities at an expo in Johannesburg, which was attended by almost 6500 people over two days. He took with him a South African edition of the Property Press that the company had produced specifically for the expo and potential immigrants to New Zealand.
“Bayleys has been exploring and developing off-shore markets for a number of years now. We’re very active in Australia, Asia, the United States and the United Kingdom, where we have an office in London. We see potential in the South African market and that’s why I visited there,’’ says Mr Whalan, who spent two weeks after the expo travelling around the rural areas of South Africa staying with farming families.
He says after listening to the personal stories of the South Africans he met it is not difficult to see why moving to New Zealand holds so much appeal for them.
“Life in Johannesburg, and indeed other parts of South Africa is far removed from what we are used to in New Zealand. Barbed wire, heavy gates and electric fences are the norm, but in spite of this burglaries are commonplace. Whites are targeted not necessarily due to colour or for political reasons, but because they have something worth stealing,’’ Mr Whalan says.
“With corruption rampant from the local policeman to the president-in-waiting, the general feeling amongst the white community is the country has a very bleak future, with most suggesting it will follow a similar path as Zimbabwe,’’ Mr Whalan says.
Since the end of apartheid in 1996 the white population of South Africa has more than halved. It now stands at just less than 2 million Mr Whalan believes the ‘white flight’’ will continue and that many South Africans will look to resettle in New Zealand, where there is political stability and little crime.
“They are keen to emigrate to New Zealand and carve out new lives for themselves here. This is an emerging market for Bayleys and we’re committed to helping these people make a new start here.’’
Mr Whalan says even in the rural areas of South Africa crime is rife, with farmers having to go to extreme measures to protect their irrigation equipment and other farm machinery.
Many farms are ringed by 1.8m-high razor wire to stop theft and all centre pivot irrigators are alarmed to detect tampering.
“South Africa is one of the most mineral rich countries in the world and one of the biggest suppliers of platinum. The current price of platinum is almost 50% more than the price of gold so it’s a very valuable commodity. The South Africans fly it by helicopter from the mine rather than trucking it by road because the risk of hijacking is so high.
“This is the harsh reality that many South Africans are looking to escape.’’
- Ends -