Non-political reasons why South Africans should emigrate

(Almost) Every South African is currently re-evaluating their situation and reconsidering their decision to stay in South Africa. And who can blame us? There are so many things happening right now like our newly acquired #junkstatus and the dismissal of our Finance Minister, that it leaves my head spinning just thinking about it.

That said, those are definitely not the only reasons for South Africans to want to emigrate to a different country. People who leave every so often gets judged for deciding to do so which is not fair. I’ve come up with more reasons why South Africans might leave their birth country, so before you judge them, consider this:

To Travel More

Let’s be honest here, South Africa is very far from the rest of the world and traveling is ridiculously expensive. In addition to that, our Rand is not worth a whole lot, unless you travel to Asia or the Middle East. Some of us might want to move to Europe so we have more opportunity to travel and experience different cultures.

Financial Reasons

Life in South Africa has become extremely expensive and salaries have not kept pace with profuse price increases in electricity, food, and petrol. One thing that makes me furious is when people compare us to other countries and try to convince me that we actually have it good. What they neglect to mention is that you cannot do a direct exchange rate calculation without taking into account what people in other countries earn. Yes, the UK/Australia/Canada is more expensive but their earnings are much higher than ours. Our minimum wage is a joke in comparison to other countries.

Another thing to keep in mind is in countries like UK and Canada, medical aid and schooling is free. Public transport in the above-mentioned Countries are also top notch, so you don’t have to own a car. Subtract that from your budget and see the difference it makes.  Now tell me why you still think we are financially better off in South Africa.

More Time Off

Who doesn’t want more time to spend with the people you love, doing the things you love? In the UK, employees are entitled to 28 leave days per annum.  Most Scandinavian countries allow 24 – 25 days and the in rest of Europe you can expect to get at least 20 days paid leave annually. Click here for the full list

Their work weeks are also shorter than ours. In South Africa, employers expect employees to work anything from 40 to 45 hours per week. Most European countries work anything from 33 – 38 hours per week and employers encourage flexible working hours.

Paid Maternity Leave

There is nothing worse than leaving your three-month-old baby with someone else because you can’t afford not to work! Did you know that in Canada you can get up to one year paid maternity leave? Have a look here for maternity leave regulations around the world.

You Can Study For Free

Yes, there are countries that let you study for free, regardless of your nationality but South Africa is not one of them (and probably never will be). In Germany, you can earn a bachelor or masters degree at a public university, while studying in English. Other countries that offer free education are Norway and Iceland.

As you can see there are many valid reasons for us South Africans to leave South Africa and we don’t need your judgment when we do.  In return, we promise to not trash our country and to stay hopeful for those who can’t leave or choose to stay.


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Kerry says:

    The cost of living in Australia is high but you get a lot for your taxes. Great infrastructure (public transport, etc), lots of open spaces and parks, festivals, public education, etc. Property is far more expensive here and think that it’s a lot cheaper in South Africa, even when you compare wages.


    1. Thanks for your input, I really appreciate it!


  2. listohan says:

    My daughter’s parents-in-law left South Africa for Sydney with their four sons 40 years ago amid criticisms they were leaving a sinking ship. As migration to Australia gets harder, looks who’s laughing now as the parents are retired and all the boys are in good jobs or have successful businesses. My daughter’s father-in-law apparently gives thanks for his good fortune daily; he tells me some who stayed are attracted by the convenience of having domestic help. And Christmas comes at the right time of year along with fake snow, but that is tending to vanish with global warming.

    But what is that when compared with an almost complete absence, as distinct from a pre-occupation with, security issues and the ability to plan for one’s children in the expectation those plans can be fulfilled?

    My daughter’s parents-in-law visit reasonably regularly but return to Australia each time saying conditions are worse then they saw on their previous visit and say that visit will be their last.


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