What is semigration and what’s driving it?
Semigration or semi-emigration is the act of moving to another location within your home country. While this definition may prompt one to ask: “Isn’t that just known as moving?”, semigration is distinguished by the motivating factors behind the relocation. Just like those who emigrate, they hope that a change of location will be the key to a better life, however, unlike emigrants, they feel that a better life is still possible within South Africa.
Those who choose to semigrate are moving in search of a better quality of life, away from the dangers and stresses of the concrete jungle. It is therefore no surprise that Gauteng and specifically Johannesburg and surrounds have been worst affected by the semigration trend. Concerns about the long-term physical and psychological effects of the stresses of urban living have been compounded by an increase in incidents of crime within the city. With this in mind, it is ironic that Cape Town, named the most crime-ridden region of the country by the SAPS, is such a popular destination for semigrants.
Semigration, however, is not just a personal decision, but a savvy investment opportunity too. The Cape Town property market is currently overcrowded and vulnerable to spikes in crime. However, I’d highlight the smaller towns along the Western Cape coast to any prospective semigrants, as they are able to offer both the quality of life these semigrants seek and the promise of a profitable property investment as the area becomes increasingly popular.
While those who choose to semigrate are sometimes couples or even individuals, most who make the decision to semigrate are those with families, particularly young children. Our family decided to semigrate from Johannesburg to Cape Town for several reasons. We opted for a coastal lifestyle where the kids could enjoy the outdoors and play on the beach, we based ourselves in an area with access to several good schools and took security into consideration too.
Johannesburg is only two hours by flight so commuting regularly is not an issue. I am still able to connect with my team, clients and partners with relative ease. By moving to Cape Town we have moved to one of the most beautiful cities in the world, can continue to enjoy the lifestyle that is offered in South Africa and through connectivity and an easy commute, can continue to operate the business in Johannesburg, which remains the business capital of South Africa.
Semigrating may not be as taxing as emigrating but it is still a considerable process that requires financial and legal processes be taken. In instances such as these, it is always best to weigh the pros and cons before making life-changing decisions, no matter how big or small the distance may be.