Property expert applauds Mbeki’s “skills issues” concern

Posted On Wednesday, 14 June 2006 02:00 Published by
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Skills issues were one of the key subjects on the table during Mbeki’s latest meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair - local property experts say a reverse in SA’s brain drain will attract more foreign investment which will have economy boosting spin offs in the long term.

Skills issues were one of the key subjects on the table during Mbeki’s latest meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair - local property experts say a reverse in SA’s brain drain will attract more foreign investment which will have economy boosting spin offs in the long term.

Barak Geffen, Executive Director of Sotheby’s International Realty South Africa applauded Mbeki saying “if we want to make better progress we need more people with skills”.

Thousands of professionals leave the country each year. An estimated 118 000 skilled emigrants left from 1989 to 2003 (about 7% of all employed professionals) and according to recent reports 27% of all medical posts in the civil service stand empty.

Geffen says allowing foreign ownership of South African property and work permits is the first step towards attracting and keeping a highly skilled workforce in SA, as property is most people’s primary wealth creation vehicle.

“Once we allow foreigners to buy property here, we need to allow them the work opportunities they’re afforded in the rest of the world. In this way we will ensure that they contribute towards the strengthening of the economy and SA will truly become apart of the global market place.”

“These skilled workers can mentor South Africans transferring much needed skills whilst actively contributing to the economy and GDP growth.”

Mbeki said state corporations with major plans for energy, water, transport are raising questions that there aren’t project managers to manage what are going to be very large projects.

“You need those people and that kind of skill with experience to make sure these ambitious projects happen”. “There are skills shortages coming up as people are investing more. And we’ve been assessing what kind of skills are needed on the government side” he said.

Geffen says that foreign companies often cite immigration policy as a key constraint to investment and it makes sense that skilled workers are not going to want to settle in a place that they are prevented from earning an income.

“Many are worried that allowing more foreigners into the country will push up property prices and usurp valuable jobs from locals – this shouldn’t be a concern as isolating ourselves from acquiring the best pool of global talent will be a greater cause of unemployment being higher in the long run.”

For more information contact Barak Geffen on 082 600 8522

ENDS-
ISSUED BY:                    Lange Strategic Communications
ON BEHALF OF SOTHEBY'S INTERNATIONAL REALTY SOUTH AFRICA
 
For further information please contact Robyn Creer at Lange on (021) 448 7407 or visit www.sothebysrealty.co.za

 


Publisher: Sotheby’s International Realty
Source: Sotheby’s International Realty

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