Unsurprisingly, perhaps, South Africans are feeling less and less satisfied with the way things are being run in the country. The Mail and Guardian website reports that nearly 29% of adult South Africans are either actively seeking to emigrate, or are giving serious thought to it. That’s a shocking number, and the numbers are pulled from across racial groups. Typically, the group of people willing to leave the country are highly educated folk with great access to media (“media savvy”, as termed in the report). The statistics are worrying for authority figures, because it shows a great disillusionment with the way things are.
I’m one of the aforementioned number of people actively seeking to leave South Africa. It’s a great country, mostly. And it’s difficult to deny that there are a lot of things right with the place. But it’s also very, very difficult to deny that there’s a lot more things wrong. I don’t think that many people who are seeking to emigrate are under an illusions that a life away from SA will be all honey and roses, but it IS a matter of what kinds of problems you’re exchanging, and which kinds you’re willing to put up with.
Personally, I’m frequently finding that I’m being frustrated by an uncertain future for my children, high prices, rude and unfriendly service, bad drivers, crime, and bad earning power, not all necessarily in that order. To exchange those for an unfamiliar country with unfamiliar laws, people, flora and fauna, and a different way of life without wood braais, beautiful scenery, and late night shopping every day of the week. I think I can deal with that. I’ll be getting peace of mind, security and a future for my children, less road rage, better service from all sectors (government included), and a feeling that my life isn’t in danger every time I go out for a walk.
My family are all still here, and that’s going to be the biggest part of what I’m giving up. My closest and most amazing friends have all departed for other countries already, however. Leaving seems worth it to me.
If you’re South African, what are your reasons for staying or going?
[Link: Mail and Guardian]