Emigrating to South Africa, have to be mad?

Emigrating to South Africa, have to be mad?

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Discussion

Thunderhead

Original Poster:

311 posts

71 months

Wednesday 25th November 2015
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Two sets of South African friends of ours have recently "returned home" after living in the UK for a number of years.

One set moved to Durbans South Coast, the others to the Western Cape (outside of Cape Town, probably an hours drive up the Western Coast). Speaking to them, it seems they are really happy, and are very glad to have made the move back.

It got me and the missus to thinking what sort of lifestyle we could have over there, particularly given we would be able to buy a reasonably nice house outright. From a bit of googling it seems the Western Cape is the safest part of SA, and for the most part remains safe from the violent crime that seems so apparent in the rest of the country.

They have kids, and mentioned semi private schooling is all the rage, and offers a decent standard of education. The weather is obviously a massive pull, and if we could live in a safe area with access to the beaches and potentially Cape Town for work, then it looks like a decent proposition.

We have three young kids though which is my major concern, I don't want to introduce them to the increased risk of crime, although given how things are going this side of the pond Im not sure the UK offers a safe and secure future anymore anyway.

So what are peoples thoughts on the country as it is now, and it's future? Have any of you gone back/emigrated and loved or hated it? Im not looking for the land of milk and honey, I appreciate everywhere has good and bad points, but a warm climate where the kids can play outside, swim, and go to the beach is definitely appealing.

Let me know what you think.

robsartain

144 posts

138 months

Wednesday 16th December 2015
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Hi Thunderhead,

I moved to SA in May 2013. I am English, but the wife is Afrikaans. We made the decision to move with our 2 young kids and said we would give it two years, and at which point the oldest child would be ready for school, and we make a decision to go back to Blighty or stay in SA.

It was an easy decision, so we have remained in SA.

One of the biggest benefits if you have saved a few pounds is the exchange rate. As you said you can live here mortgage free. Also the house you will be buying will probably be 2 or 3 times bigger. We actually brought a small holding 4 hectares. The kids spend so much time outside due to the whether and the size of garden we have.

The quality of life is much better here and I find the children do seem to respect the adults more than the UK, and I like the fact that the youngsters, come up and shake you by the hand and call you oom. I think it is more traditional values that got lost in the UK. I am sure that topic is a thread in itself.

Yes there is crime, and yes we have idiots in charge of government, but as always the South africans make a plan.

Anyway I know a lot of people on the forum prefer the UK, but for me I have enjoyed every minute here and continue to do so.
By the way I live in Bethlehem in the free state which also doesn`t have much crime.

FalconWood

1,330 posts

157 months

Monday 21st December 2015
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I think anyone thinking of moving to SA with children need to think very hard about this. In my opinion SA is rapidly following the path of every previous African state that has achieved independence and is on the way down and out. True it is a beautiful place and great lifestyle to bring up kids. But you will probably end up being an ostrich like the rest of the South African by burying your head in the sand and missing the fact that The economic climate cannot be run by these muppets, the state run industries are in absolute decline and the political unrest will get worse and worse and risk leading to chaos and anarchy. There are a lot of coloureds all over SA with growing resentment of those that have and the unemployment in the Cape is horrendous. Go there at your peril. Most of the friends left Rhodesia on the 80's and went to Australia. They love it there. Why not go there instead!

FalconWood

1,330 posts

157 months

Monday 21st December 2015
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By the way - why not move this topic onto General Gassing where you might get a fire representative view then asking those that are trapped in SA what they think!

Jasper3.0

609 posts

160 months

Monday 21st December 2015
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My £2.76 for what it is worth.

We went out to SA on a work assignment for two years with a view to a longer term commitment.

We came back and to be honest we have not regretted the decision once. Don't get me wrong, nothing bad happened to us whilst we were there (in fact we had great times) but. And it is a big but, the security side of things was all pervading. It shapes what you do and how you?

We lived in Centuirion on the southern suburbs of Pretoria on a really nice gated estate. But in two year we walked nowhere locally and all trips were by car.

We had friends out there who despite elaborate security arrangements were the victims of crime. Either in their homes (home invasion type deals), car jacking a both on their drives and elsewhere. Also why we were there we lost a friend to a drink driver. The DD ran a group of joggers over on a Sunday morning.

On the flip side the access to sport was second to none and reasonable. We saw the British and Irish lions, elnagland test matches, rugby (both local and international).

So we had a really good time. But as stated above the security situation was the main reason for our return.




robsartain

144 posts

138 months

Tuesday 5th January 2016
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I do agree that both political and security issues need to be taken into consideration and planned for.

I am very fortunate in that I work for a company in England (remotely from SA) and yes I have made sure we have a back door in case it all goes wrong politically. We rent our house out in the UK, and only ever keep minimal amount of money in SA and the whole family has english passports.

I think it will be an interesting two years in SA. We have elections coming up, and Zuma has to be gone by the next election. I don`t think the DA will win, but I think we may start seeing more voters heading in that direction.

I cannot comment on Austraila (never been there) but I know a lot of ex Saffa's go out there and enjoy it. I believe it is getting quite expensive there. I think its a good suggestion to investigate that avenue.

Thunderhead

Original Poster:

311 posts

71 months

Wednesday 13th January 2016
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Thanks for the responses, I think for my kids future we are better off here, since the more I research the state of the economy and services, the more it does look like it is in a downward spiral, and I am not sure the people who could slow the spiral are equipped to do so.

It's a pity as it's an amazing place with so much potential, very sad to see how it seems to be going now.

TonyRPH

10,503 posts

128 months

Thursday 14th January 2016
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This was the exact reason we left in '96 - not only were we concerned about our kid's education, but also their long term job prospects.

And not to mention the security. We were living in Johannesburg at the time, and there were a fair few rapes / murders etc. in our area (Sandton).


yorky500

1,708 posts

151 months

Tuesday 21st February 2017
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I have already started making plans to move back to SA after being away since 1988. I have been back sporadically over the last 30 years, but in 2016 went back 4 times. Each and every time I loved it more and more and I realised what I had been missing all these years.

I always said England was home, but now, not for me.

My folks have never left SA since they (we) landed in 1975. Sure they bh, complain and compare to the "old days" but they get on with life. Despite all the issues, everything works in SA (for now!). They live in the Drakensburg area and yes, they have experienced the "home invasion" due to being soft targets in a remote area, but they will not leave.

Africa and for me SA, has gotten back under my skin.


Coolbanana

3,004 posts

160 months

Saturday 31st March 2018
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I heartily recommend SA to anyone wanting to move there; it is a beautiful country, offering a potentially fantastic lifestyle with wonderful, diverse Cultures mixing together to form a great place to live.

If you have the means to emigrate mortgage-free and a good plan for how to finance your lifestyle, it could be one of the very best places in the World.

Obviously, we shouldn't ignore the crime. It is rampant in parts. However, bear in mind that if you are savvy and steer well clear of certain places and choose your residence area wisely, it can be avoided. My family have lived there for over 30 years and my Father has never, ever been a victim of crime. Sadly, I have been but having lived in London too, I would give my chances as all being equal in either place. Yes, SA has far more violent locales, but you can, through financial privilege, avoid them. That said, you will constantly be aware of it and have to learn to live with being aware and vigilant. If you can do that, fine.

I rate the current President highly and while the ANC has a large number of pond life sucking up all they can, overall, SA is actually improving - I see it with every visit. It is not nearly as bad as some make out. Nearly all of my school and Uni friends who remained in SA have great, successful lives they would not trade. There are opportunities there. I know, I have an SA business as well as a UK business.

Personally, I would move back, no question. My wife on the other hand wants to be closer to the kids - my stepkids - who live in Europe so we settled on the Algarve in Portugal as a reasonably close Lifestyle option to Durban, where I grew up and my Father and sister still live.



TonyRPH

10,503 posts

128 months

Sunday 1st April 2018
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Coolbanana said:
I heartily recommend SA to anyone wanting to move there; it is a beautiful country, offering a potentially fantastic lifestyle with wonderful, diverse Cultures mixing together to form a great place to live.

If you have the means to emigrate mortgage-free and a good plan for how to finance your lifestyle, it could be one of the very best places in the World.
I completely agree with that but...

Coolbanana said:
Obviously, we shouldn't ignore the crime. It is rampant in parts. However, bear in mind that if you are savvy and steer well clear of certain places and choose your residence area wisely, it can be avoided. My family have lived there for over 30 years and my Father has never, ever been a victim of crime. Sadly, I have been but having lived in London too, I would give my chances as all being equal in either place. Yes, SA has far more violent locales, but you can, through financial privilege, avoid them. That said, you will constantly be aware of it and have to learn to live with being aware and vigilant. If you can do that, fine.
My sister lives in East London (Eastern Cape) and twice has come home to a little African chap in her house (despite being financially privileged!)

My brother (also financially privileged!) lives in Johannesburg and he has been hijacked, his daughter and step son both hijacked, my brother right outside his house, and step son on a random junction (I forget where). Step son got a bullet in the face - entered through his open mouth and exited via his cheek...

Coolbanana said:
I rate the current President highly and while the ANC has a large number of pond life sucking up all they can, overall, SA is actually improving - I see it with every visit. It is not nearly as bad as some make out. Nearly all of my school and Uni friends who remained in SA have great, successful lives they would not trade. There are opportunities there. I know, I have an SA business as well as a UK business.
Cyril Ramaphosa hasn't exactly got off to a good start with his newly publicised land reforms...

Coolbanana said:
Personally, I would move back, no question. My wife on the other hand wants to be closer to the kids - my stepkids - who live in Europe so we settled on the Algarve in Portugal as a reasonably close Lifestyle option to Durban, where I grew up and my Father and sister still live.
I would go back were it not for the crime - but even then I wouldn't rate my chances of getting a job very high.

A former colleague of mine in East London is finding it very tough, and I know of other friends / colleagues of his in a similar position.

If you have lots of money then yes, all good - but if you were average middle class before the transition, then the chances are your lifestyle has taken a tumble.



hmullie

6 posts

33 months

Thursday 5th April 2018
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FalconWood said:
I think anyone thinking of moving to SA with children need to think very hard about this. In my opinion SA is rapidly following the path of every previous African state that has achieved independence and is on the way down and out. True it is a beautiful place and great lifestyle to bring up kids. But you will probably end up being an ostrich like the rest of the South African by burying your head in the sand and missing the fact that The economic climate cannot be run by these muppets, the state run industries are in absolute decline and the political unrest will get worse and worse and risk leading to chaos and anarchy. There are a lot of coloureds all over SA with growing resentment of those that have and the unemployment in the Cape is horrendous. Go there at your peril. Most of the friends left Rhodesia on the 80's and went to Australia. They love it there. Why not go there instead!
i think you should have stayed where you are, saving a few quid is not worth losing your lifew or losing your property. bad decision sorry mate.

arguti

1,322 posts

146 months

Tuesday 29th May 2018
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I grew up in Cape town and was last there less than 6 months ago - as a holiday destination, South Africa is fantastic but long term, I would not invest there and certainly would not relocate with our kids.

I have family that still live there for part of the year and small thing like people going through your waste bins and scattering everything everywhere weekly, wifi companies unable to provide a consistent reliable service, dealing with council with respect of unauthorized building extensions, etc with neighbours, etc, etc - this is apart from the inherent crime rate and general difficulty in getting anything done other than private healthcare which is effective (as soon as you flash your credit card!).

to put into perspective, i deal with international doctors wishing to relocate to the UK and in the last 3 months, have had more applications from South Africa than in the last 10 years! not just whites but all parts of the rainbow spectrum.

However, the sun, sea, seafood, steaks, surf, shopping and space are very seductive!

Acidrop

163 posts

85 months

Monday 16th July 2018
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Anyone thinking of moving to SA is crazy. I left there in 2002 and I've never looked back. I will take the UK with its sh*tty weather and crammed spaces any day knowing I don't have to worry about my wife or daughter being abducted, raped or murdered.

People living there always say, "It's not as bad as everyone makes out". It worse. They are just used to that sort of lifestyle. The moment I moved to the UK it was like being liberated. I have never once felt safe in SA and I constantly looked over my shoulder wherever I went. When I lived in Cape Town city centre, I never left the house on foot or walked anywhere alone as almost everyone I knew had been mugged at knife/gun point in our area.

My sister was killed by two hijackers who ran away from the police, jumped a red light and smashed into her car on her way to work. The two scumbags naturally got out and walked away unscathed. Don't get me wrong, I love SA and if it wasn't for the blacks f*cking everything up I would go back in a heartbeat. Sadly though, things are only going to get much worse before they get any better, if ever.

Coolbanana

3,004 posts

160 months

Tuesday 31st July 2018
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Just booked my flight tickets for my next trip 'home'; March next year to coincide with my 50th birthday. We'll be staying in Kruger National Park for 14 days and maybe a week in Durbs at my Family home.

My Father who still lives there permanently is here in Portugal with me now, we were discussing life in general in SA and he, like me, believe it to still be a place that offers a wonderful Lifestyle despite the negatives and believe it to be far, far from falling apart like the other African Nations around it have done. The doom & gloom merchants are wrong, SA will improve, we hear about its collapse into the 3rd World continuously but it hasn't happened and simply won't. South African's are a special people.

There are still job opportunities, business opportunities. Yes, it is more difficult than previously when it was easy due to privilege but I'm still seeing family and friends doing very well; some extremely well.

Crime, that is still bad, no question. I know all about crime; shot and killed the man who raped my sister during a very violent struggle, experienced gun-fights while on Volunteer Neighbourhood Watch, been burgled a few times, taken 'hostage' by a desperate man at gunpoint...there is a list. But you know, my experiences are not the same as everyone's. It is easy to assume everyone is a victim of very violent crime but it is not true. Most of my friends have never directly experienced violent crime against their person. Many have experienced theft and everyone has heard horror stories, Farm Murders, etc. Crime is bad if you are a victim. Not everyone is a victim and there is a lot you can do to improve your odds of avoiding being one.

I still love SA, I still prefer the Lifestyle it offers, I am still confident that the Country will prosper, I still love the varied Culture mix, I would still live there.


yorky500

1,708 posts

151 months

Wednesday 1st August 2018
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Coolbanana said:
Just booked my flight tickets for my next trip 'home'; March next year to coincide with my 50th birthday. We'll be staying in Kruger National Park for 14 days and maybe a week in Durbs at my Family home.

My Father who still lives there permanently is here in Portugal with me now, we were discussing life in general in SA and he, like me, believe it to still be a place that offers a wonderful Lifestyle despite the negatives and believe it to be far, far from falling apart like the other African Nations around it have done. The doom & gloom merchants are wrong, SA will improve, we hear about its collapse into the 3rd World continuously but it hasn't happened and simply won't. South African's are a special people.

There are still job opportunities, business opportunities. Yes, it is more difficult than previously when it was easy due to privilege but I'm still seeing family and friends doing very well; some extremely well.

Crime, that is still bad, no question. I know all about crime; shot and killed the man who raped my sister during a very violent struggle, experienced gun-fights while on Volunteer Neighbourhood Watch, been burgled a few times, taken 'hostage' by a desperate man at gunpoint...there is a list. But you know, my experiences are not the same as everyone's. It is easy to assume everyone is a victim of very violent crime but it is not true. Most of my friends have never directly experienced violent crime against their person. Many have experienced theft and everyone has heard horror stories, Farm Murders, etc. Crime is bad if you are a victim. Not everyone is a victim and there is a lot you can do to improve your odds of avoiding being one.

I still love SA, I still prefer the Lifestyle it offers, I am still confident that the Country will prosper, I still love the varied Culture mix, I would still live there.
Bloody hell and I thought my parents went through a rough patch up in the Drakensberg when my old man was shot through the forearm by a young black male, high on drugs, using an R4 rifle. They have since moved to a more secure town.

+1 on all your above points though. My next trip back is in Nov this year, all preparing for eventual semi-retirement in mid-late 2019.

Acidrop

163 posts

85 months

Friday 10th August 2018
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Coolbanana said:
Just booked my flight tickets for my next trip 'home'; March next year to coincide with my 50th birthday. We'll be staying in Kruger National Park for 14 days and maybe a week in Durbs at my Family home.

My Father who still lives there permanently is here in Portugal with me now, we were discussing life in general in SA and he, like me, believe it to still be a place that offers a wonderful Lifestyle despite the negatives and believe it to be far, far from falling apart like the other African Nations around it have done. The doom & gloom merchants are wrong, SA will improve, we hear about its collapse into the 3rd World continuously but it hasn't happened and simply won't. South African's are a special people.

There are still job opportunities, business opportunities. Yes, it is more difficult than previously when it was easy due to privilege but I'm still seeing family and friends doing very well; some extremely well.

Crime, that is still bad, no question. I know all about crime; shot and killed the man who raped my sister during a very violent struggle, experienced gun-fights while on Volunteer Neighbourhood Watch, been burgled a few times, taken 'hostage' by a desperate man at gunpoint...there is a list. But you know, my experiences are not the same as everyone's. It is easy to assume everyone is a victim of very violent crime but it is not true. Most of my friends have never directly experienced violent crime against their person. Many have experienced theft and everyone has heard horror stories, Farm Murders, etc. Crime is bad if you are a victim. Not everyone is a victim and there is a lot you can do to improve your odds of avoiding being one.

I still love SA, I still prefer the Lifestyle it offers, I am still confident that the Country will prosper, I still love the varied Culture mix, I would still live there.
Do you work for the ANC by any chance? laugh

Coolbanana

3,004 posts

160 months

Thursday 23rd August 2018
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Acidrop said:
Do you work for the ANC by any chance? laugh
Not everyone is a negative loser in SA wink

Many actually 'maak 'n plan' and create a great life for themselves instead of playing the victim card.

I voted DA. smile