South Africans ‘thriving’ in US

Washington - There are a number of South Africans living in the US who are thriving, Brand SA country manager Simon Barber said on Friday.

"There are about 80 to 85 000 South African born people who are permanently living in the United States now", he said in Washington.

"They are exceptional people in terms of professions, in terms of net worth, in terms of their education level."

Brand SA has a programme called "Global South Africans" which helps drive investment in the country.

According to statistics from Global South Africans in the US there were 82 057 South African born people living in America.

Barber said these "exceptional people" were people like Margaret Marshall.

Marshall, who was born in Newcastle, in northern KwaZulu-Natal, is the retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.

She has a BA degree from the University of the Witwatersrand and a master's degree in education from Harvard University. She then graduated from Yale Law School. She was appointed to the Supreme Judicial Court in 1996.

Barber said there were a number of people like Marshall.

"This is by large an exceptional group and there is a lot of goodwill towards South Africa among them", he said.

"We are building this network to tap into that goodwill and have them as brand ambassadors for the brand."

A South African delegation, led by President Jacob Zuma would be in Washington next week to attend a three-day US-Africa Leaders' Summit, which aims at strengthening ties between the US and the African continent.

The summit was the first of its kind.