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The time now.. apparently


muzzmegs
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Now that we are in the process of immigrating, things which we would not have noticed before or not have paid much attention to have become very apparent and even eye-opening.

I think a good analogy to describe our thoughts that of any new car buyer. Once you decide to buy a particular model, you tend to see that car all over the place and therefore pay more attention to those models.

And now to get to my point: since making our decision, we now here about more people choosing to do the same or are in the final stages of immigration. We have heard more people at work talking about it, read media reports on the numbers and reasons why people are going and even had close friends tell us some of their own random immigration stories. As an example, one of my colleagues at work is in the process of moving his family from Pretoria to the Hartbeespoort Dam area and will be renting there until he can find something decent to buy. He told me today that he is really struggling to find something to rent after calling quite a number of agents. The reason, well apparently the vast majority of homes are not for rent but for sale as the owners are immigrating or have immigrated already.

I find this all very interesting and wonder if we just have the 'new car' mindset or are more and more people choosing to pack their bags. I suspect the latter..

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Well, this year it's not 'all in our minds', because the migration agents are reporting increases of up to 7x the enquiries that they got last year. So that's real.

I think it's because a few more 'push events' happened recently, like load shedding being reinstated, the currency suddenly losing ground from R15 to R22 per Pound. Constant striking. I have a mechanical engineer friend, and she told me there are about 1/3 the vacancies advertised now than compared to this time last year. Zuma's attitude in parliament getting worse and worse. People are getting fed up, and are voting with their feet, cause the votes at the ballots aren't making a difference. And the interesting thing for me is this is less and less a race thing and more and more an awareness thing. I've heard that quite a few well educated black families are also emigrating, and if anyone could have made it work in RSA it would be them. But they are complaining about the same things I am complaining: Government is ruining the country. Failing infrastructure, lack of service delivery, lack of municipal planning, education. Same things.

My heart bleeds for those who want to leave but can't.

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Mine too.. It's heartbreaking for some.

When we went for our Aus holiday in August we found it very interesting that every single expat South African we bumped into where either colored or black. We didn't see or hear a single white, even though we know a ton of whites are in Aus. Our most memorable experience was when we landed in Sydney, after we arrived we lined up outside the terminal building to wait for a taxi, and the gent from the airport assisting everyone, was a black expat from SA.

Immigration has no colour.

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There sure is an upsurge in emigration and in the past few weeks at work i overheard a lady saying her goodbyes on her last day saying she was moving to Aus...i felt like asking her a million questions but she wasn't a close colleague. Then in another group conversation another colleague just mentioned she'd be moving to NZ next year. I just kept quiet coz i decided as far as work is concerned I'm not telling anyone until i resign...

So i think you are right there really is an increase in the numbers...

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A few anecdotes from our recent experience:

Rep from the moving company said they have been relocating 65 families overseas per month for the last 6 months, just from Cape Town. Based on their size in the industry, he estimated 200-250 families are leaving Cape Town for overseas each month. Most of their clients are the ultra-wealthy, old money, and foreigners / expats who're heading for more peaceful locals. Interesting thing he mentioned was to look at the amount of property for sale in Camps Bay as a guide to the exodus of the ultra-wealthy. Looked on Property24 now - 169 properties for sale in Camps Bay... He reckons Camps Bay will be a ghost town in a few years time.

When getting our medicals done, we tried to get an appointment at Chris Barnard - earliest they could see us was in 4 weeks time. Asked if they were seeing a lot of people who are emigrating and the receptionist just said "you have no idea hey...". Ditto with the doctor we managed to get an emergency appointment with in Durbanville. She laughed at my question and just said something like "it's unbelievable".

Then in our extended personal network, we know probably 12 families either directly or indirectly who have either moved, or are in the process of moving. Most are headed to the UK (shame) but Aus is a popular destination.

Reasons are mostly the same - generally, a lack of faith in SA's future - but they are certainly not all middle class white people. Emigration, and dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs in SA, is not limited to white folk.

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Very interesting SJVH!

I suppose a good portion of the ultra wealthy got to where they are now financially by looking after their money.. And with the exchange rate, as one example, where it is now no wonder they are leaving. Unfortunately our Rand isn't worth a dime in any first world country.

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I reckon the ultra wealthy have had the bulk of their assets overseas for many years, so the Rand would actually be an advantage to staying here. I think the 'fear of this becoming like Zim' is probably the driving factor. No point in having a lovely view of Cape Town if there's no electricity to keep the wine cold.

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I have a friend who traveled to RSA in the late 90s and he said especially in Cape Town people where auctioning and selling their houses and luxury cars like mad trying to liquidate their money and go off shore. I also worked in an audit firm and remember that we had to prepare a reserve bank amnesty application forms for many clients who took money offshore before 2004. If memory is correct another amnesty came around in 2010. There were smarter people who had the vision and abilities to move 10 or 15 years ago before the Rand went down south. It looks like this latest decrease in the valuation is permanent unlike the temporary one in the early 2000s.

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we have a close friend in CT. He and his wife both have very high end jobs with all the perks one can imagine. They go on overseas holidays at least twice a year (not counting the numerous overseas business trips they do).

I was very surprised a few days back when my friend said that they both would be doing their IELTS soon. "....are you guys thinking of coming to Aus?" , "yes for sure."

I later mentioned to him that he would not find a job amy where close to what he (and his wife) has at the moment. His answer was, we have savings, but more than that, even doing a part-time retail job is fine by us. We just need the peace of mind and the sense of security for the kids' future.

Edited by zamunda
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Load shedding may not tame the flame at streers; but it does make people take a fresh look at immigration.

Seriously, there was a spike in worried comments here after load shedding and the xenophobic violence. Those seem to be big motivators for immigration.

Black people have always been staunch supporters of the new South Africa. When a bunch of them go and throw rocks at shopkeepers because they can't afford the basics anymore... That's not good.

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Water shedding is a fun one too. Have friends in Zimbali who over the past 2 years have spent about R500,000 on installing generators, rain water tanks, energy and water efficient systems, etc. so they can have water and power in their R8m apartment. I call this "Paradise Tax" - it's same with private security, private schooling, private housing estates, etc. If you want to live in "paradise" and maintain a certain lifestyle or sense of security, then you have to pay the tax. When the lifestyle no longer warrants the tax, people start looking for a place that offers a better ROI. That's the point we've reached.

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The whole thing is such a duality though. Protesters are literally tearing down universities, the Rand is tanking, Zuma is laughing at SA as it burns, it is all going South. But when I am out under the African sun hiking or fishing, or at the local watering hole after work chilling and having a craft beer watching the scenery walk past I can't help but wonder whether I couldn't have suffered another few years of this.

Then reality sets in again.

It's rough, I wish I didn't have to be doing this.

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Feel the same. I love it here - it's my home - and leaving is like a punch in the gut, especially knowing that my kids won't walk the same forests and beaches and mountains where I grew up. That said, I think it's my duty as their father to try and secure the best possible future for them - much like my grandparents did when they arrived in Durban on a boat from post-war Europe. I'm the product of an immigrant family and seems I'm destined to continue the journey; looking at the broader history of my family makes it a bit easier. I also know that we can always come back should we want to. So I'll be rooting for SA from the other side of world, hoping things get better, and perhaps one day will return to the Cape for good. Plus, Australia is a beautiful country with many amazing places to explore. It's not Africa, but I'm sure it has it's own charm. Think the trick will be to focus on what you have gained, and not what you've lost.

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Reading these posts.....I'm feeling homesick already.... :cry:

Edited by TacticJourney
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The whole thing is such a duality though. Protesters are literally tearing down universities, the Rand is tanking, Zuma is laughing at SA as it burns, it is all going South. But when I am out under the African sun hiking or fishing, or at the local watering hole after work chilling and having a craft beer watching the scenery walk past I can't help but wonder whether I couldn't have suffered another few years of this.

Then reality sets in again.

It's rough, I wish I didn't have to be doing this.

Have to agree with you on this one, I only started the process in october, still need to write IELTS and submit skills assessment, so very far from actually moving..

But I am also in two minds currently, on the one side I whish I could expedite the process to leave as soon as possible as I am afraid that my skill might be removed from the list, on the other side I still have so much I want to do in SA.

I honestly hope SA survives this idiot they call our president, I would love to be able to know my family here are safe and be able to return to the hiking, fishing, MTB and watering holes I love to visit.

But it's probably all about the mindset!

Regards

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Generally you only need to stay in Australia for 4 years and then you can apply for citizenship. And trust me 4 years fly past. Then after that you can decide what you want to do. Go back to RSA or stay in Australia. The most important thing is that you will have the option to choose. And change your mind after you take citizenship.

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Generally you only need to stay in Australia for 4 years and then you can apply for citizenship. And trust me 4 years fly past. Then after that you can decide what you want to do. Go back to RSA or stay in Australia. The most important thing is that you will have the option to choose. And change your mind after you take citizenship.

I think I am getting a bit too old to sit on the fence. I know that a lot could change between then and now but we have committed far too much money, time and emotion to stand with one foot in Australia and one in South Africa. At this point we are all in :)

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It's not Africa, but I'm sure it has it's own charm.

That's a little condescending - Australia is magnificent in it's own right.

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I have often wondered how many people are actually emigrating each year, I would be very interested to know. We started this a few years ago and yes you definitely become more aware of people also going through the same process. There were colleagues at work we met up with who my husband discovered were also emigrating, people we would meet randomly and discovered they were leaving SA. Friends also that had work opportunities and jumped at the chance of leaving. We did find that many of our friends were not in a position to emigrate for various reasons, so therefore we found common ground with those that could. If you have no option to stay and make a life in SA you really don't want to listen to anyone running it down. You have to make the best of a bad situation.

Now that we are here we can see SA without blinkers on and see that to term a common phrase my dad used to use it is "up s***s creek without a paddle"

South Africa is beautiful no doubt, but its up to its neck.

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We are also in the process. At first we began the process mostly as an insurance policy as we were ageing out of the 189 visa limits but as we have gone further along the path it has now become a definite decision to immigrate. I think once you really start looking at immigration you start seeing all the things about the country that you maybe swept under the carpet before. I am very aware of the concept of "confirmation bias" and have actively tried to make sure I see both the positive and negative stories about SA to ensure that I am making the correct decision.

As for most people the biggest wrench will be leaving family. We had a lovely Sunday lunch braai this weekend at our house with a crowd of friends and family - kids running out into the bush and building forts (we live on 2 Ha stand on a wildlife security estate) and the whole time I was thinking we wont have this in Australia. But even with those thoughts I was still sure we were doing the right thing. It was a good test for me

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

It's interesting for me, as an Australian, to see a wide variety of reasons why people are choosing to leave South Africa now.

 

I hate it when South Africans I've go to know in my home town say they decided to move because of a catastrophic event . . . murder, break in, life savings becoming increasingly worthless outside SA.

 

It also amazed me to watch a war film of a bunch of young Germans, including one Jew, who were going thro wartime experiences.

 

The one Jewish chap's family were always hoping for better times to come back once more in Nazi Germany . .   right up to the time when they all made the one way train ride to Auschwitz.

 

I realised that many people will choose denial about the increasing deterioration in their personal circumstances before the alternative (emigration), as that is too scary to contemplate.

 

There seems to be a "tipping point" for some, and that is what they need to encourage them to emigrate elsewhere, but many will stubbornly hang on in the hope for better times to come back.

Edited by Bob
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Its actually very sad reading all these posts and reasons from prospective migrants. I always said that a large majority of SA expats in Aus still carry a bullet around in them from a high-jacking/burglary experience. For many that was the tipping point. 

On a lighter note; some posts do have a few funnies in them. Thought to highlight them!

 

On 11/23/2015 at 5:45 AM, SJVH said:

Camps Bay will be a ghost town

 

On 11/23/2015 at 6:07 AM, SJVH said:

there's no electricity to keep the wine cold.

 

On 11/24/2015 at 3:37 PM, monsta said:

Load shedding may not tame the flame at streers

 

On 11/24/2015 at 4:11 PM, SJVH said:

so they can have water and power in their R8m apartment. I call this "Paradise Tax"

 

On 11/27/2015 at 1:57 PM, emma.yenkanna said:

"up s***s creek without a paddle"

 

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Well - the movers pick up the last bits of our furniture tomorrow morning, we have 2 big suitcases getting shipped to JHB ready to load onto Qantas, and on Sunday we're off up the coast to say goodbye to family. Arrive in Sydney to our beautiful little house in Naremburn first week in January. I had been expecting to feel more emotional about leaving Cape Town, but strangely enough, I feel nothing at the moment but growing excitement for what waits for us in Sydney. I'm sure I will miss this city soon enough, but our turmoil about whether we are doing the right thing or not has evaporated. Everyone has their reasons for leaving South Africa; we are fortunate in that we are not being driven by a traumatic experience, but rather drawn to what we hope is a healthier, fuller life for our young family (and a great work opportunity). I have no bad feelings towards South Africa, but my thinking is - You can always come back, but the chance to leave on your own terms might not always be available. So, here we go... See you all Down Under!  

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