KZN and Gauteng business owners ponder move to Canada following wave of unrest
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DURBAN - REQUESTS for Canadian business immigration in recent weeks, reportedly due to the alleged insurrection that gripped the country two weeks ago.
Beaver Immigration Consulting said it received many requests from business owners in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
"While we receive several inquiries a month for business immigration services in the South African market for commercial expansion, the phone lines have been ringing off the hook over the past week with business owners wanting to pull out of the country, said Canadian Immigration Consultant, Nicholas Avramis.
He said a lot of "anger, frustration and fear" was being expressed.
"The rage is palpable. A great deal of interest has come from South Africa’s Indian community in the Durban and surrounding areas of KZN. People feel threatened and are looking to rebuild in Canada," he said.
Avramis said it is not surprising that South Africans of Indian background were looking to relaunch their commercial activities in Canada. It was estimated that there were 1.4 million Indians living in Canada or 4% of the total population. In the past five years, Canada has welcomed 329 000 permanent residents and 494 815 students from India.
Avramis said the anxiety went further than the Indian community, as several businesses have vowed to pull out of South Africa.
"A common theme I am hearing from business owners is their plan to use the proceeds from their insurance payouts to reinvest in Canada. They need a safer place to trade. Entrepreneurs in this market squarely blame the government. They not only failed to protect the rights of property owners but during the 18 months of the pandemic, businesses took it on the chin, with next to no government support," Avramis said.
Beaver Immigration anticipates the number of business applications from South Africa will exponentially increase in the next 12 to 24 months.
"While time will tell what will happen in South Africa, we saw a dramatic rise in number of visa application in Hong Kong, starting in 2019 when the unrest began there. The bottom line is when there is trouble on the streets business owners turn to Canada. It’s a safe bet," Avramis said.
Two weeks ago, hordes of people looted shops, malls, businesses and warehouses in KZN and parts of Gauteng.