Elderly could drive the SA economy
TOURISM is quoted as a quick fix to SA’s unemployment. A commonly quoted statistic is that “for every 8 tourists visiting SA, one job is created”.
However, conventional tourism concentrates on short-term stays (less than six months). We should rather focus on the foreign elderly person for a long-term stay in SA.
In developed countries, the elderly consume $39 000 (R535 000) per capita in a year according to published statistics. If we in SA were to develop retirement complexes for the foreign elderly person in Joburg and Cape Town, think of the possible effect on SA’s unemployment.
The retirement complex would employ guards for security, and caregivers as companions and helpers to the elderly.
For the foreign elderly tourist, they would have the advantage of financial affordability. The Mercer’s 2016 Cost of Living survey puts Joburg and Cape Town among the world’s least expensive cities for expatriates. Think of all our overseas friends who have commented about our cheap restaurants and entertainment or recreational activities (like golfing and hiking).
The foreign elderly could enjoy an improved quality lifestyle at a reduced living cost. SA has world-class infrastructure. We can drink our tap water. Our roads and highways are well-developed. Our banking system is technically superior to many other countries in the world. Most important, the health care system in the private sector is comparable to the best in world.
Speaking as a health professional, one can get one’s treatment at a private clinic in SA sooner than many other hospitals in the world.
In addition, SA’s good weather conditions (conducive to year-long road-running and outdoor picnics or braais) and the ease of communication using English, as a common language, should make SA an irresistible destination for the foreign elderly. Could retirement tourism be a possible solution for unemployment? Kensington
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PENSIONER PLAN: The V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. South Africa should focus on the foreign elderly visiting the country, says the writer.