What is “Semigration” in South Africa

    Oct 19, 2022 @ 09:40 AM / by Aaron Leal

    south africa a leal

    News from the road

    We live in a new normal, due to various recent events, and many people find themselves with more work flexibility. Many workers around the world have decided to go full remote and work from home, and South Africa is no exception. 

    While meeting with sources in Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town this August, various sources mentioned the term “semigration” when I asked about the housing market in each respective city.

    Semigration is a shortened form of “semi-emigration” which basically means moving within a country. In South Africa, this term is applied to those who use the remote work opportunity to move elsewhere for a lifestyle change. People have been semigrating from urban centers to coastal towns and, most of all, to Western Cape, home of Cape Town. Sources in Cape Town told me that the city has seen more workers moving in and therefore rents and availability changed to reflect the increased demand.

    Cape Town is geographically diverse and offers beautiful weather, beaches, hiking opportunities, and proximity to game reserves. Therefore, many people have decided to work from home from Cape Town and take advantage of what the city offers. Even entire families are taking part in this trend. Nice weather, pretty views, and great food are good reasons to want to live anywhere, so why not work from home there too?

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    Topics: Housing, Mobility Policy, Surveying the World, Data Points, Surveyor Spotlight, Remote worker, trends in global mobility, Talent, Research

    Aaron Leal

    Written by Aaron Leal

    Aaron joined AIRINC in 2021 as a Research Analyst. His main roles include collecting and analyzing international housing and goods and services prices. He received his B.A. in International Relations and a minor in French from the University of Southern California. In addition to English, Aaron speaks Spanish and French. He is based in the Cambridge office.