Government acknowledges the important role that South Africans abroad played in the special voting last week thereby strengthening their bond with their compatriots at home as well as giving substance to the ruling by the Constitutional Court that South Africans abroad should have the right to vote.
It was significant that 16 240 South Africans living abroad applied for and were granted permission for a special vote and that almost half of these (7 427) voted in London where the South African High Commissioner mobilised the entire mission to ensure that voting went smoothly.
The enthusiasm evident in those who queued outside South Africa House throughout the day bodes well for creating the atmosphere for more South Africans to return and make a contribution through deploying their skills in nation-building effort or creating more jobs.
It also bodes well for building a brain-bank of South Africans living abroad to assist in the process of image-building, investment and ongoing knowledge exchange and the acquisition of skills.
The Homecoming Revolution has done excellent work over the past five years or so in creating such a climate and proactively connecting South Africans abroad with companies at home seeking skills and disseminating accurate information about opportunities and conditions in the country.
The recently-formed Global South African Network, active in the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK), has as its objective the building of a global network of skilled and influential South Africans who can help the country attract foreign direct investment and achieve its economic objectives in a globalised world.
Government acknowledges the important role of skilled and entrepreneurial South Africans returning to the country and contributing from their positions of influence abroad.
Themba Maseko (Government Spokesperson)
Cell: 083 645 0810
Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)