While the global community desperately deals with crises from earthquakes, floods and fires, it is rather unfortunate that South Africa is now in a State of Disaster. This, alongside other push factors, is causing many South Africans to look further afield for stability in their careers and a secure future for their families and funds. In the Radio 702 MoneyShow, Bruce Whitfield, in discussion with Andrew Woodburn, MD of Amprop, describes what South Africa is experiencing as “Brain Drain version 2.0.” Additional push factors such as a soft currency, systemic challenges, daily living and safety concerns, leadership in government, high personal taxation and social security, all fuel the growing need of astute people to seek better alternatives.

Malta continues to be a desired destination for South Africans going offshore and getting onto the world stage. Pull factors, such as European business and currency; Schengen freedom of movement; English as an official language; 300 days of sunshine annually; a safe living environment; its proximity to Europe with well-connected commercial airlines, have contributed to the increase of South Africans settling in Malta and taking up residency and property investment opportunities. Additional financial factors, such as favourable taxation, no inheritance tax (5% on property) NO local rates and council taxes. Quality, free education and medical services, are also provided to those working in Malta.

Merle Whale, who, for over 10 years, has assisted South Africans relocate to Malta says, ‘there continues to be a steady flow of fellow SAFFAS wanting to increase their global footprint, explore options of living abroad, retire in a central friendly location, as well as adventurers including Malta in their ‘trek’ in life. There has been an increase of activity on SAFFAS Malta Facebook group—over 20% increase in just 60 days. Whilst integrating into Malta is relatively easy at times, there is a yearning for “braaivleis, rugby, sunny skies and Chevrolet”. We regularly meet up and this year will certainly be more exciting with the Rugby World Cup 2023 being held in France, just a quick flight from Malta.

South Africans are renowned top thinkers and skilled entrepreneurs, able to deliver despite high levels of ambiguity. They are masters of operating in emerging markets and crisis environments, and are quickly successful in Europe. Whilst some may have the benefit of European ancestral roots, many are smart enough to invest in the different visa options available.

The Malta Permanent Residency Programme is an investment visa that benefits fast-moving families with membership of the European Union, and ease of movement within the Schengen regulated areas. This programme is extremely sought after due to its flexibility and clearly defined regulations. As per the Malta website, residency applicants must show they have capital assets of not less than €500,000, out of which a minimum of €150,000 must be financial assets. Once vetted, the applicant pays the government a contribution fee and a donation are made to a registered NGO. Private health and travel insurance must be acquired and a registered agent engaged. There are other programmes too, such as the Nomad Digital Visa, Global Residency Programme, StartUp Residency Programme and now also open to non-EU members, a reasonable Retirement Programme.

As a South African who has explored and lived in other places including Mauritius and Gibraltar, and investigated Portugal and Cyprus, I assist SAFFAS in determining which programmes are best for them, the process and procedures, as well as the pitfalls to avoid. Also, after consultation together, we can ensure that all matters are handled legitimately, alongside Foreign Exchange activities, taxation and meeting diligence requirements. I can help you identify your needs and set goals to successfully accomplish your European future’.v

South African face-to-face appointments will be opening for May, and face-to-face seminar dates will soon be announced. Online consultation and events are also available. Be sure to make contact via our website www.maltalifestyle.co.za to obtain information on all the above, or email Merle directly merle@maltalifestyle.co.za.