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More South Africans are semigrating: Here’s why and where they are going

23 March 2021 | Insights Team

It is commonly known that as a result of industrialisation people have been moving  across towns, cities and provinces to be closer to opportunities and jobs. But with the reality of the Covid-19 pandemic and the limits and restrictions it has brought with it, many companies have had to change the way they do business by creating a more agile, online solution to allow people to work from the safety and comfort of their homes. As a result of this change, a new type of ‘migration’ has emerged: semigration, defined as the act or process in which professionals, individuals or families decide to move to different, more affordable parts of the country or back to their native homes.

Why is semigration becoming more appealing in South Africa?  

Covid-19 forced many companies to re-look the way in which their employees work and they [now] allow their staff to work remotely from home. Professionals are no longer bound to their city homes but can settle in a place which is the best of work and life worlds – spending less on travelling to work while dedicating more time to what matters the most.

Semigration has positive and negative spin-offs. Moving house might mean that you could have your own private home office. But, home schooling your children might be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, you will have to juggle being a parent and teacher simultaneously. On the other hand you will also have to be an employee – in your own private home office. However, achieving work-life balance might be more difficult if you fail to factor all these considerations in advance. 

The interest rate on buying a home is at its lowest in 50 years, making it the perfect opportunity for you to buy your dream home anywhere in South Africa. It can also be a bigger home which you can pay off on very favourable terms. With semigration, you can live in your dream home in the remotest of locations and still sustain your livelihood and be with your family.

Popular semigrating areas in South Africa

Whether you want to move inland or to the coast, there is a place that is just right for you in South Africa. Below are some of these.

Ballito, Northern KwaZulu-Natal

What is semigration, and what is it all about?

Situated half an hour away from Durban, Ballito is one of South Africa’s fastest growing towns. It has a combination of a gorgeous beach, all-year-round sub-tropical climate and well-developed infrastructure. It’s the perfect environment for achieving work/life balance.

Pretoria, Gauteng

The country’s capital city offers an excellent opportunity to live close to Johannesburg at a lower cost. Not only does the Tshwane metro offer lower property and rental prices, you save on other expenses like entertainment and dining out.

Gqeberha [Port Elizabeth], Eastern Cape

Considered South Africa’s finest city, Gqeberha [Port Elizabeth] is located at the end of the picturesque Garden Route along the Cape coast. It is one of South Africa’s major tourist destinations. The ‘Friendly City’ is also known as the water sports capital of South Africa.

Bellville, Western Cape

Bellville is a well established residential, commercial and industrial node in the Western Cape. Now part of the greater Cape Town metropolitan area, it is well known for its mesmerising scenery above the Winelands and the Stellenbosch Mountains.

A guide on how to semigrate like pro

Packing up your entire family and life and moving to a new place in South Africa is not as easy as it sounds. Below is a step-by-step guide to help you semigrate like a pro!

  • Determine your budget: Consider such factors as the cost of living in your new location.
  • Take a trip to your new home town: Don’t go in blind; you need to experience your new location’s neighbourhood, culture and offerings firsthand before you can make a final decision as to whether it would be a good idea for you to live there long-term.
  • Narrow down your location and find a home: Remember, your new home should reflect your current lifestyle. So, it’s vital to have information regarding essentials like schools, public transport nodes, hospitals, crime and more.
  • Look into moving companies: Get in touch with a few reputable out-of-town moving companies and get multiple quotes.
  • Pack your belongings: Don’t try to pack everything all at once, especially if you’re not pressed for time.
  • Get you utilities in order: In addition to cancelling utilities at your current home, you’ll have to find service providers in your new town and get your new service set up in your name.
  • Make the move: Be sure to set aside some time to say goodbye to close friends and family on the day of your move. You’ll regret it if you don’t.
  • Settle into your new home: Meet neighbours, explore the neighbourhood, and begin this new stage of your life! Good luck!

Not only is semigrating great for an opportunity to achieve a better lifestyle, it reaps untold benefits for the local economies. Due to the increase in supply and demand, small businesses have the opportunity to serve a growing local community. 

Thinking of semigrating?  Visit our website and let Leadhome help you find a rental or home in your ideal semigration destination.

Insights Team

We're the "thinking arm" of Leadhome, combining expertise in data analysis, modelling, sociology, geography, and philosophy to interrogate current trends in the South African residential property market. Proudly contemplative since 2015.

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