Words: Jim Hislop
Jim Hislop is a Woodstock-based freelance writer, copywriter and sub editor, as well as a property historian, who has authored two books on the old suburbs of Cape Town, namely Wheatfields & Windmills (about the beginnings of Observatory) and Behind the Castle (covering the early history of District Six).
Semigration (semi-immigration) is a term that’s often found on property websites. But what is it, you may ask? In a nutshell, it refers to the increasing trend of relocating from one part of the country to another without leaving its borders, usually in an effort to escape escalating crime, the hustle and bustle of bigger cities, or to chase better job prospects.
There has been an increasing trend in recent years for Gauteng residents to pack up and head for the “greener pastures” of the Mother City. Not to mention people fleeing severe drought and high unemployment in the Eastern Cape to try their luck here and in Gauteng. But what does that mean for Cape Town, bearing in mind that we suffer from aging infrastructure, we’re in the midst of a long-running energy crisis, there are thousands of homeless and many people are on years-long waiting lists for RDP housing in ever more cramped township areas.
What’s more, according to a 2019 transport directorate report, traffic congestion in the city already costs R2.8 billion a year, leading to lower job growth, productivity loss and decreased attractiveness for investment when our workers can’t reach their places of employment on time, if at all.
According to 2020’s mid-year population report by Statistics South Af rica (Stats SA), during the 2016- to-2021 period the country (whose population boomed to almost 60 million last year, ahead of a 2016 UN prediction of 58 million by 2022) is seeing massive population growth, especially in Gauteng and the Western Cape. By next year the former can expect around 1.5 million migrants; and the latter, almost 470 000, respectively. Bearing in mind that 11 July is World Population Day, now is the time to take stock and have a critical look at the pressure we’re putting on our own already over- burdened city by overpopulating it without a thought for the future.
For more information on family planning, visit www.capetown.gov.za
www.news24.com/fin24/economy/ sas-jobless-grows-to-72-million- as-unemployment-rate-breaches- new-record-20210223
www.iol.co.za/capetimes/news/ city-of-cape-town-obtains-urgent- interdict-against-land-grabs-in- district-six-5b61a5da-4f68-48b0- a423-75c0f1db52ae
www.theconversation.com/why- af rican-families-are-larger-than- those-of-other-continents-84611