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Returning South Africans optimistic

Mindcor has recently surveyed returning South African executives and found that the economic downturn had played a role but that it was not the primary motivator for the growing numbers of South Africans who are heading back. Their primary reason for returning to South Africa was to be reunited with family and friends and to be more involved in the development of the country.

Mindcor director, Sam Schlimper, says most had expressed concern about the high levels of crime but that they had accepted this as the price they would have to pay to enjoy the many benefits that the country had to offer.

"It was encouraging to see how positive all of the returnees who were surveyed were about the future in South Africa and the majority said that they wanted to be a part of that future," she says.

In order to meet the demand of both South African executives who wanted to return to the country as well as locals who wanted to gain experience working abroad, Mindcor is currently opening an office in London.

No regrets about working abroad

Almost all of the candidates surveyed said that they were glad they had taken the plunge to work abroad as it had enriched their lives. They were also unanimous that young South Africans should consider living and working overseas for a period to gain experience and see for themselves that the grass was not always greener on the other side of the fence.

Among whites surveyed, only a small percentage saw affirmative action and black employment equity as a problem in terms of finding employment, Schlimper says.

Expats' assistance

Homecoming Revolution, a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping expats return home, said that there had been an increasing number of enquiries and that a growing number of South Africans were returning home.

Homecoming Revolution MD Martine Schaffer said the organisation's website was receiving 8500 unique hits a month and around 200 calls a month from expats who wanted information about the situation in South Africa prior to taking the plunge to up stakes and head home.

"Every time we have our exhibition overseas where we highlight prospects in South Africa and spread the word on job opportunities, we meet numerous expats who are thinking of heading home.” At their last fair in London, some 1200 people attended, she said. She estimates that there are around two million expatriates living mostly in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US.

CAs in short supply

Statistics from The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) show that 2508 of its members are currently working in the UK, 1319 in Australia and 740 in the US. "However, it is encouraging to note is that the majority of members, 24 455 have chosen to remain at home," says Matsobane Matlwa, chief executive of SAICA. Despite this encouraging figure, SAICA estimates that the shortfall of qualified CAs is now 500 a year.

For more information contact Sam Schlimper at Mindcor on +27 (0) 11 551
5522, or +27 (0) 82 853 3050 or go to

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