The issue of emigration has been on the table for many years now. Pre- and post- Apartheid politics has sent many CAs(SA) to nether shores.

There is a startling amount of South African CA’s spread all around the world. Initially the UK was the favoured destination, followed Canada, the USA and now, Australia.

There is no doubt that the CA(SA) qualification will hold its own pretty much anywhere in the world. The biggest advantage is that, because there so many ex-pats who have moved abroad, work is usually not a problem as ex-South African CA’s prefer to employ SA candidates because of their work ethic and quality.

In the UK especially, work permits are a problem, especially if you are wanting to take a job outside the profession. But in most other countries you will encounter the similar restrictions. Other CA’s manage to get in so there are ways.

Sadly many good quality people have left SA to settle elsewhere. One wonders what would have happened to the economy had they stayed. There are number of entrepreneurial CA’s that have risen to great heights. The two that come to mind are Sol Kerzner (Sun International) and Donny Gordon (Liberty Life). Besides escaping with their wealth, they also took with them that dynamic entrepreneurial spirit. How many more such giants could have been created from the slurry of CA’s that have emigrated over the last 40 years?

Needless to say, most CAs(SA) have considered leaving SA and many have.

But should you?

It’s a good question and it requires a ‘half empty-half full’ review. You are either optimistic or pessimistic. There is no room for ambivalence.

Now, I don’t want to get into a political discussion here. It actually is not the point. What is relevant is that you make a choice. Hanging in state of indecision seriously gets in your way. More particularly it affects your attitude to your current job. You can be sure if you dilly-dalling, your work is being affected simply because you have no view on the future. This being the case you will automatically be at odds with your job.

It is imperative that you make up your mind.

Personally, I’m a ‘half-full’ guy – I believe that this country has yet to flourish. I believe that Africa is the new world and South Africa is head office. I believe in the people and their willingness to make it a well governed and supportive state. I believe in the entrepreneurial spirit of the people and a determination to make this one of the best places to live on earth.

Sure we have political challenges but lately I’m finding that there is, for the very first time that I can ever remember, hope for the future. The business people that I come into contact with are seeing light at the end of the tunnel. If it’s not in 2017, it will be 2018 – the economy will turn.

The only question you need to ask yourself is will you be in a position to take advantageof the next economic upturn.

If none of this makes sense to you, you are probably a ‘half-empty’ person. To you I say why wait? Go – do not faff around. You either have the vision like myself, or you don’t. It’s that simple.

Just to end I saw a little anecdote on the ‘half full/half empty:

  • A negative person sees the glass of water half empty.
  • A positive person sees it as half full.
  • A realistic person adds two shots of whiskey, two cubes of ice and says “cheers”!