South Africa

Dawie Roodt reveals why he stays in South Africa – and what others staying should do

Dawie Roodt

Award-winning economist Dawie Roodt said he stays in South Africa because “it is our place”. However, he advised people to manage the risks associated with the country.

Roodt told Minkie en Vriende that he recently visited New Zealand, which he described as beautiful, clean, safe, and friendly.

However, it is not home. “Our place is in South Africa. When I landed in South Africa, the first thing that struck me was how blue the sky was,” he said.

“Our meat tastes better than in other countries. Our people are here. That is why I am not emigrating.”

He added that South Africa is an exciting place to be and far more affordable than most developed countries.

“South Africa is a very special place. The first thing I did after returning from New Zealand was to buy a proper steak for a third of the price,” he said.

Staying in South Africa does not mean people should not carefully plan their future and realise the risks the country poses.

“South Africa is a dangerous place. There are many risks in South Africa. You need to identify these risks and manage them,” he said.

Roodt said people can continue to enjoy the country’s great weather, food, family, and friends if they follow a few basic rules.

One of the most important things is to be safe. This may involve living in a security estate and avoiding risky situations.

Another important thing is having the skills and technology required to participate in the advanced global economy.

Turning to wealth, Roodt advised South Africans to have a diversified portfolio, with a large portion invested abroad.

Apart from protecting your wealth against political and economic problems in South Africa, there are also more investment opportunities in international markets.

“Make sure you use the correct structures when moving money abroad. Get a good advisor to assist you,” he said.

He also advised South Africans to avoid buying property or any fixed assets that are illiquid by nature, as they present a significant risk to their wealth and cannot be disposed of easily.

He said South Africa is a fantastic country to live in as long as you can effectively manage the risks.

Live in South Africa but put your money overseas

Magnus Heystek

Roodt’s view aligns with Vestact founder Paul Theron’s and other investment specialists’ advice to South Africans to externalise their wealth.

Theron said it was important for South Africans to externalise their money beyond the reach of greedy socialists.

“I remind people that South Africa has an uncertain political future,” he said, adding that although he is an optimist, bad things can happen.

Brenthurst Wealth investment strategist Magnus Heystek has been advocating for South Africans investing overseas for years.

Like Roodt, he urged South Africans to limit their property investments, as South African property is a dreadful investment and a capital trap.

He said people should consider renting rather than buying. “Renting is cheap, and the property owner is most probably subsidising your lifestyle,” he said.

People should also move all their discretionary investments offshore while they still can.

“The weakening rand reduces the foreign currency you can buy, and regulatory changes may make it more difficult,” Heystek said.

“Consider moving your offshore assets and investment portfolio into a Mauritian trust to further put distance between your assets and the ANC in South Africa.”

He added that business owners should set up a holding company in Mauritius and run some of their operations from there.

Like Theron, he advised South Africans to put their wealth in a hard currency, like the US dollar.

“It can reduce your taxes payable in South Africa as capital gains are only levied on your USD profits and not due to the rand weakening,” he said.

Heystek said this strategy will help protect people’s wealth and allow them to emigrate should South Africa become untenable and risky.


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