Frustrated South African on Why More Locals Are Considering Emigration

By Adele

(Almost) Every South African is currently re-evaluating their situation and reconsidering their decision to stay in South Africa. And who can blame us? writes guest contributor ADELE.

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.

If I can use one word to describe how I (and most) South Africans feel about South Africa right now, it would be FRUSTRATED!  With what’s been going on in SA recently, the big question everybody is asking is: Do we stay and fight or do we pack up and leave?

There is no easy answer, unfortunately, but I for one believe that I never started this fight, to begin with. Why should I have to give up my dreams for a future to finish somebody else’s fight? Here are the reasons I say, let’s pack up and leave:

Racism is Not Ending Soon

Apartheid, in my honest opinion, is bulls%@t! No one chooses the colour of their skin or the day they are born, so why our forefathers felt the need to discriminate against the black people just blows my mind. I can’t figure it out!  I can understand why black people are angry at all white people. It’s because they think we all condone apartheid. This is not true at all!

The problem now is that people are fighting fire with fire. Nothing good will ever come from that! We can’t keep racism alive.  It will kill South Africa.

No future for children in South Africa

As the mother of a 15-year-old, I am truly fearful for her future in South Africa…

Crime in South Africa

I don’t know about you but I am tired of feeling scared.  I am tired of always clinging on to everything I own when walking in public. I hate the fact that it is not safe to walk around in my neighbourhood and that I always have to double check for suspicious cars when turning into my driveway. But most of all, I’m tired of feeling scared in my own house with an alarm system, electric fencing, and three dogs. Nobody should have to live like this!  What is even sadder is this is all my daughter knows. This is her normal. I want so much more for her than this!

To Travel More

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 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 is 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.

Their work weeks are also shorter than ours. In South Africa, employers expect employees to work anything from 40 to 45 hours per week. Many European countries work less hours 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?

You Can Study For Free

Yes, there are countries that let you study for free. In Germany, you can earn a bachelor or masters degree at a public university, while studying in English. Other countries that offer free education include Norway and Iceland.


As you can see there are many valid reasons for us South Africans to perhaps leave South Africa and we don’t need to be judged 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.

They say the grass is not greener on the other side. I say, the grass is green where you water it. Don’t get me wrong, I love South Africa and think it’s a beautiful country with lots of potential and if you want to stay and fight, I wish you luck…

I will miss my extended family but I owe it to myself and my family to go and find a better, peaceful life.


This is an edited version of two articles which appeared on, and is republished here with kind permission of Adele.

ADELE is happily married to her soulmate.  Mom of a teenager. Dreamer.  Writer.  Aspiring World Traveller.  Nature Lover.  Simple Living Campaigner. Reader of Books.  Foodie. Soon to be Expat. Follow Adele’s blog – GoEatExplore – as she shares her experiences and travel tips…