“Come Home” pleads South African leader

September 6, 2009 by Henry Benjamin
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South African president Jacob Zuma has urged skilled ex-patriates to return home.

President Jacob Zuma

President Jacob Zuma

Speaking at the country’s Jewish Board of Deputies National Congress in Johannesburg, President Zuma  said: “This country has a massive skills shortage. This problem has been exacerbated by the emigration of skilled people. We must work to reverse this trend.”

Current figures show that 1800 South African Jews emigrate annually mostly to Israel,the U.S., Canada…and Australia.

This was the first time President Zuma had publicly addressed the Jewish community. He praised South African Jewry saying “many within the Jewish community have played a prominent role in the struggle for democracy and freedom”. He singled out examples of privileged Jews naming Rusty Bernstein, Helen Suzman and Albie Sachs.

Martin Bloom emigrated to Australia over 40 years ago. He told J-Wire. “Many people would like to return but this is not a question of ideology. This is a question of physical danger. The problem of crime in South Africa is so overwhelming that it is the greatest deterrent. The idealism is appreciated but not at the risk of being robbed or raped.”

The current Jewish population of SouthAfrica is estimated to be  75,000. It has been as high as 120,000.


One Response to ““Come Home” pleads South African leader”
  1. derick says:

    Zuma is the first ANC or Communist politician, that I know of, who has been honest about the reasons skilled people are leaving the country. It does not help him a lot to have a puppy that is trying to scare the hell out of the mining and farming industries. Unfortunately the ANC consists of such a divergent group of people that the chance of constructive government will remain a ghost on the horizon.

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