Most migrants to Gauteng are from Limpopo: Statistician-General

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Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke says Limpopo contributes the highest number of people who migrate from other provinces to Gauteng. Maluleke says the migration is concerning as it leaves Limpopo with a shortage of skills.

Maluleke was speaking during a round table discussion with stakeholders at EduPark in Polokwane. The discussions aim to pave way for tertiary institutions, government departments and others to align their programmes to solve societal challenges. Maluleke says the migration is influenced by a need for better economic and educational opportunities.

“The poor always follow the rich and, in every environment, nobody wants to stay in an underdeveloped area. Largely with the exception of Gauteng and Western Cape all other provinces are what we call rural provinces so all of us are moving from our rural provinces to townships, suburbs and everywhere. So that’s what particularly drives young people and as they move with skills because either they move when they are young and they get trained there and they never come back,” says Maluleke.

The University of Limpopo’s Turfloop graduate school of leadership hosted the country’s Statistician-General under the theme of “unpacking South Africa through numbers”. The university says that as an institution of higher learning, statistics are important in shaping the direction of the university and its contribution to solving societal challenges.

“Our program qualification mix is informed by numbers, we check how many we take, and you talk of the medical school. Our capacity both in terms of space and human resources dictates that we take a certain number of medical students for training school. Our capacity dictates to us how many of those can be trained to become specialists. We don’t have chartered accountants, we don’t have enough medical doctors. If we had enough, I’m sure service delivery can be improved,” University of Limpopo Vice Chancellor Mahlo Mokgalong.

While service delivery protests are common in the province, with communities feeling that not much is being done to address their issues, experts however say the numbers show a significant improvement.

“The Limpopo economy was the second smallest in the country in 1995 and within a space of 12 years it became seven percent contributor to GDP. So, there has been quite a serious growth in Limpopo and even now when you look at the marginal growth, it looks like it’s still leading in terms of growth rates,” says former Chairman of SA Statistics Council Ben Mphahlele.

Despite figures showing an increase in the province’s economic growth in the last twelve years, this has still not curbed the need for locals to seek out greener pastures.