Skilled professionals are moving from Gauteng to the Western Cape to escape crime and deteriorating infrastructure, driving up property prices in Cape Town and adjacent towns.
FNB’s 2024 property insights analysis by John Loos revealed that South African homeowners are moving to well-run areas.
“People will continue to move to areas where things work, resulting in semigration for household and business activities,” Loos said.
The DA-run Western Cape is a key beneficiary of this semigration trend, with many homeowners moving to Cape Town, the Winelands, and the Garden Route.
National market activity, also known as home buying activity, increased marginally from 5.1 in Q3 2023 to 5.3 in Q4 2023.
Market activity in the Western Cape, in comparison, was 6.0. It was much higher than the national average and beat all other regions.
Market activity in Gauteng was 5.0, which was lower than the national average and far lower than the Western Cape.
A significant contributing factor is semigration, where people move from one province to another in South Africa.
As the best-run province, the Western Cape is a big beneficiary of semigration, which boosts its economy and property market.
Although the trend is normalising, the Western Cape is expected to continue to outperform the rest of the property market in 2024.
Commenting on this trend, renowned economist Dawie Roodt said the government in the Western Cape is far better than in other provinces.
Better governance in the Western Cape, which is under DA control, is seen at the provincial and local government levels.
“Most of the provinces and municipalities run by the ANC are mismanaged. The DA is not always doing a great job, but they are dramatically better than the ANC,” he said.
“That is the primary reason why people are leaving Gauteng for the Western Cape,” Roodt said.
He added that generally speaking, Gauteng experience more crime, corruption is more pervasive, and infrastructure is collapsing.
“People see and experience this deterioration and are voting with their feet by moving to the Western Cape,” he said.
Roodt added that the upcoming election may see the ANC lose control over Gauteng and potentially other provinces.
Should this occur, another political party will get the chance to fix the devastation left by the ANC government in Gauteng.
This can impact the current trend of people moving from Gauteng to the Western Cape. However, Roodt cautioned that reversing the mess in Gauteng will take time.