1000 millionaires ditch SA

Bad year: It can be tough being a millionaire in SA and 950 of them have left these shores. Picture: Shutterstock

Millionaires had a bad year in South Africa last year, declining by 18% in what was a particularly poor year for them as compared to 2014, according to the South Africa 2016 Wealth Report.

The report’s head of research Andrew Amoils yesterday said in real figures the decline was from 46800 at the end of 2014 to 38500 at the end of 2015.

This decline was mainly due to poor economic conditions in the country.

The rand depreciated by 25% against the US dollar and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange was down 22% in US dollar terms during the year.

A significant number of millionaires also left the country.

According to estimates, the country lost just more than 950 millionaires to emigration in 2015.

Of the ones that left, 36% went to the UK, 15% to Australia, 11% to the US, 8% to Canada, 5% to Mauritius and 4% to Israel, says the Wealth 2015 migration survey.

In the survey, the top reasons millionaires gave for leaving included:

• Financial concerns;

• Inability to deal with changing social dynamics in SA;

• Concerns for children’s future – schooling and universities;

• Violent crime and hijacking;

• BEE requirements; and

• Concerns that someone in family may contract HIV-Aids due to the prevalence of the virus in SA.

As part of the report, New World Wealth also created a scorecard of the main factors that encourage wealth creation in a country. These factors include:

• Strong ownership rights;

• Strong economic growth;

• A well-developed banking system and stock market;

• Free and independent media;

• Low level government intervention;

• Low income and company tax rates;

• Ease of investment; and a low level of trade union involvement.

Sello Rabothata