Africa Check has traced the original source of a claim that eight professionals leave South Africa for every one that comes in.
Africa Check's senior researcher Kate Wilkinson checked this claim and says it is not current.
She says Statistics SA's (Stats SA's) most recent data notes that measuring emigration is a challenge because many of the people leaving don’t declare their departure to authorities.
The claim which was recorded in a 2017 Department of Home Affairs white paper on migration can be found in a 2006 journal article looking at the period 1989 to 2003.
Africa Check spoke to one of the journal article's authors.
When we spoke to one of the authors, they said that it is not appropriate to use data from 1989 to 2003. It was a time of great political instability in South Africa and a lot of change.— Kate Wilkinson, Senior Researcher - Africa Check
When looking to see whether these numbers still hold up today, Stats SA still does collect some data but in 2003 when the Emigration Act came into law, some of the reporting requirements were relaxed.— Kate Wilkinson, Senior Researcher - Africa Check
It is anyone's guess. If a whole family emigrates, they are not counted... the other thing is that it does not record occupation. That is why we have come up with an unproven verdict for this.— Kate Wilkinson, Senior Researcher - Africa Check
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