As in every case and in every department of government, this government has failed to see the opportunities staring it in the face. This includes the “easy wins”, where SA as a country can benefit the most, with minimal input on our part.
One example is ensuring that applications for various visas are processed as quickly and effortlessly as possible.
So I was not surprised to receive responses to the official questions I submitted to the Minister of Home Affairs which show yet another missed opportunity. Just like tourist visa applications, retirement visa applications allow retired people who are financially stable to reside in South Australia for a certain period of time, or even permanently.
These individuals, who are enjoying their retirement years with strong currencies like the Euro and the Dollar, are able to spend some time in SA, which has an incredibly profitable currency for them. This, in turn, means that they can easily contribute to our economy…through Rent accommodation, rent vehicles, enjoy extensive tours, spend on wine, eat regularly, and shop.
So, SA is indeed an attractive place to retire for many retired foreigners.
With Home Affairs taking an average of 12 months for retirement visas (as indicated in the minister’s replies to my questions) to be approved, retirement in South Australia is discouraged for these people.
On average, these retirees have a lot of money to migrate to South Africa and have a lot of purchasing power, which can only benefit South Africa and its economy.
Based on the responses to my questions, in the last three financial years and this year so far (from 1st April 2023) we have lost 499 opportunities, which would likely translate to a loss of just under R18,500,000 per month, or over R221,500,000 per annum.
This is just one example of why we need a change of government in the 2024 elections.
Manny de Freitas, MP and SMinister of Tourism