Using census data from 2011, Australia’s official statistical organisation noted that approximately 145,683 South Africans were living in the country – 8th behind the UK, New Zealand, China, India, Italy, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
Fast forward to 2016 and the bureau revealed that as at June 2015, as many as 178,700 were living in Australia, up more than 33,000 people from the 2011 data, and representing 0.8% of the total population.
According to the 2011 census data, 63% of South Africans in Australia were employed in either a skilled managerial, professional or trade occupation. The corresponding rate in the total Australian population was 48.4%.
Marlene Prentice, who runs Migration Network Australia, which facilitates emigration to Australia, told City Press of a jump in the number of South Africans relocating to Australia in January 2015, and then again in July and December last year, following the axing of finance minister Nhlanhla Nene.
“The number of visa assessments processed in July and December 2015 were 67% higher than the number processed in July and December 2014. This increased trend continued through to January and February this year,” Prentice said.
“The main reasons given are security, corruption and a lack of future job prospects. However, in July 2015, the load shedding issue was raised. The sacking of Nene and the volatility of the rand became an additional reason after December 2015.”
Top 10 occupations for South African men and women living in Australia
|#||Occupation||South African men|
|1||Specialist managers||6 710|
|2||Business, human resource and marketing professionals||4 920|
|3||Design, engineering, science and transport professionals||3 640|
|4||Automotive and engineering trade workers||3 230|
|5||ICT professionals||2 430|
|6||Health professionals||2 260|
|7||Electrotechnology and telecoms trade workers||2 150|
|8||Hospitality, retail and service managers||1 990|
|9||Engineering, ICT and science technicians||1 900|
|10||Sales assistants and salespeople||1 540|
|#||Occupation||South African women|
|1||Health professionals||4 550|
|2||Education professionals||3 890|
|3||Business, human resource and marketing professionals||3 540|
|4||Numerical clerks||2 760|
|5||Specialist managers||2 430|
|6||Sales assistants and salespeople||2 220|
|7||Carers and aides||2 150|
|8||General clerical workers||2 090|
|9||Office managers and programme admins||1 840|
|10||Inquiry clerks and receptionists||1 500|
A more recent report by the Australian government showed that the top 10 skills of South Africans emigrating to Australia through the country’s permanent Migration Programme in 2014–15 were as follows:
- Software and applications programmers
- Auditors, company secretaries and corporate treasurers
- ICT business and systems analysts
- Industrial, mechanical and production engineers
- Secondary school teachers
- Other engineering professionals
- Metal fitters and machinists
- Computer network professionals