Is leaving South Africa the only option now?

Last night was an emotional night for me. My mind kept wandering the entire night and I just couldn’t sleep. I am restless. Every little noise I heard woke me up. Is there someone at the door?! Where’s my phone? Who would I call first in a case of emergency?!

I hate living in fear, but it has come to that stage where I triple check all my doors and windows at night and pray for the safety of my family.

I am tired of reading all the negative articles about how South Africa is junk status.

I am tired of reading about the murders, women abuse, corruption and child molestation happening right now in our country and honestly, I am tired of hearing about the break-ins and hijackings in my area. Every day when I leave home, I pray for my safety and I’m always alert on the roads. It feels like we are stuck in a never-ending battle.

There’s always a problem popping up in South Africa.

For the past week, all I ever see on my timeline is something negative about my beautiful country. It breaks my heart reading stories about how innocent people are dying every day. Things have changed so much that we have to take each day as it comes and hope nothing bad happens to our loved ones.

Is leaving South Africa the only option?

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My mom was involved in an incident a while back where she visited a well-known Spa for their Moonlight package but ended up coming home with nothing but pain and hurt. The bus was hijacked outside the Spa and everyone on it was robbed and tortured for 2 hours. Does this mean that we shouldn’t be going out at night anymore? It seems like people are getting targeted in every way possible – whether it’s visiting the atm to withdraw cash or stopping at a robot, your life is at risk.

Yesterday when I fetched my daughter from school, I realized that kids don’t know race. They only know friends. It’s us who teach and manipulate them as they grow. The fact is we make our kids racist.

Here I was, watching a room full of mixed races eating together at a table. They were eating the same meal, being taught the same table manners… What got to me is how protective these children were of each other. Each one protects the other and the belongings they share. Someone once said that children do not learn what they are taught, they learn what they caught. So what is it that you are throwing at your children. Is it your pessimism, your laid back attitude, your negative trauma, your stress, your fears, your hurt, your pain – or is it the good things…

Is leaving South Africa the only option?

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I may stay in a country that’s facing serious problems at the moment but these children remind me that there’s hope.

I’ve seen many bloggers touch on what’s happening in South Africa at the moment and I promised myself not to write anything about it because it will just cause a stir but today I just can’t hold back my feelings and emotions.

Even though I would love to leave my country and I’m ashamed to say that because I never thought this day would come, a part of me just can’t let go! This is my home, why should I leave?! My main reason for leaving would be so that my kids can have a brighter future but that is not guaranteed anywhere.

Today it might be South Africa in trouble but tomorrow it could be the country you immigrated to. I’ve heard about how many people are planning to move because they just can’t take it anymore and I understand their situation but is that the only option?

Is leaving South Africa the only option?

My husband has nagged me for years to consider leaving South Africa and I’ve thought about it but it ends there… How do I leave my family and friends and move to an unknown city? What if something worse happens there than here?!
If we all pack up and leave, what happens to the country that we once called home? Do we forget our roots? Yes, my country is bleeding now but it needs its people to help it heal.

Yes, my country is bleeding now but it needs its people to help it heal.

This is the time to stand together in unity instead of killing each other. Our main problem is ignorance and lack of resources. It might take years to fix it but I believe it can change.

Is leaving South Africa the only option?

Credit: Vimage Media

Maybe a new president will give us hope? I would proudly say I’m South African because our country is not bad, it’s the people who make it bad. We need change and we need it now, for the sake of our children. We are merely custodians. Think of Mandela, what would he do?

I would proudly say I’m South African because our country is not bad, it’s the people who make it bad. We need change and we need it now, for the sake of our children. We are merely custodians. Think of Mandela, what would he do?

I don’t want to leave my mom and go and if I take her with, what’s the process like? Do we all need degrees and a masters qualification? Many of us don’t realize that it’s not exactly easy getting permanent residency in other countries. What if you are rejected? Will you keep trying? How long are we going to run? Will that solve the problem?

Wherever you go in the world, there will always be some challenge and problem. No country is perfect and I doubt it will ever be. Right now in South Africa, it’s either you live in a fancy estate which many of us cannot afford or leave – but the irony is that only 20% of people can afford both options. What about our brothers and sisters? Do we leave them to die or do we help be the change the country needs?

Is leaving South Africa the only option?

Credit: Vimage Media

Is leaving South Africa the only option now?

My mind is filled with questions and anger but I still can’t see myself leaving anytime soon. I may be stupid and selfish but my heart tells me stay.

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76 Comments

  1. 2015-04-23 / 11:19

    Hi Shaney,

    I guess that I have heard many things about South Africa and your post on migrating has got me thinking???? How far must we run? Can we hide? Do we live with an ostrich mentality? Hide our heads and hope that it will disappear….

    If I could write a letter to the President, I would ask : “Mr President sir, have you heard that every country leader is commending you on taking action against Xenophobia, but they want more! What can we do? May I make a humble suggestion – Listen to your people! Can we start at the basics? People are complaining about jobs, food and shelter. These are basic needs that everyone has. We say that we are doing something about it, but are wereally. Is more time spent in the boardroom or on the ground? Maybe my thoughts are too simplistic but can’t we please get back to basics? Take the people that are complaining. Put them in a place – one community at a time. Show them that protest actions are costing more money. Show them you care. Ask them how they would resolve the problem! What would they do differently? Every community has skills. Take these skills – even those of negative leadership and give them a responsibility. Instead of making the rich richer with tenders etc. – allow the community to make a change. Use those who are good at building and make them build, those who would like to suggest things, empower them to make their dreams reality. How? Well when Moses left Egypt he had a lot of people to care for, God told him to set people over people, so make it a team or community – the way a village would run. Take the elders empower them, use the skills of the youth, plant fields, address service delivery, show an interest in improving infrastructure. Re-channel their energies. Rome wasn’t built in a day sir – take one day at a time. Look at our unemployment rate sir, is it changing. Would not empowering your people create the opportunities for job growth? Look at wealth distribution, sir. The man on the street is getting strangled. Everything but salaries are increasing. Who benefits from the weakened exchange rate? The wealthy who can afford dollar trade and offshore investments, who benefits from interest rate increases – the man who is saving money in the bank – not the man who is drowning in debt. Is there any relief on the horizon? Can we consider the back to basic approach… Are we desperate enough to try anything? Too much power in one man’s hand can corrupt, shared responsibility with the same vision brings growth….”

    SO that would be my letter to the President, or something to that effect. My major thoughts right now however is wondering if the instigators of Xenophobia – something which I believe is not just a physical but spiritual battle – realise the extent of the damage caused. This leads me to wonder which voice are we listening to. When I was little, I was told that a devil and an angel rested on my shoulders. Each would talk and I choose who to listen to. I wonder which voice creates death – because every act of violence leads to death in some form or another. Why are the attacks against the vulnerable? What is really happening in SA?

    The thing that bugs me is that – do the incumbents truly realise the damage that they are doing? They claim that foreigners are taking what is theirs. What did they do about taking it in the first place? Isn’t destroying things going to cost more in replacement – where is the money or resources going to come from?

    People wake up. Blood calls out, are you ready for the repercussion! Our country needs helps. The only thing that we should fear is God, so who are we giving control to?

    My only hope is :

    2 Chronicles 7:14King James Version (KJV)
    14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

    For God to hear ….

  2. 2015-04-23 / 11:26

    Loved your post! I also can’t sleep sometimes but I keep thinking other countries have issues too. And I can’t think of leaving my parents here and husband’s parents too! I have not thought of leaving just yet. We have issues in SA but love this place so much.

    • 2015-04-23 / 11:45

      Thank you for commenting and sharing your thoughts. Leaving family is the hardest, that’s one of the things holding me back.

  3. Tyrael
    2015-04-23 / 12:01

    Need to GTFO of here, this country has another 7 years of having a stable economy. History repeats itself unless we don’t correct, that why we learn it in the first place. I love SA too, but need to be realistic. Wait till it happens to you.

  4. lameez
    2015-04-23 / 13:50

    Love your post touchy but true, Its truly sad what’s going on in our country. Evry night me and hubby discuss about our country how cruel and heartless , we think about our kids ,safety at home ect and try our best we work hard where we become and what we have today. I fear on a daily basis for my life ,my kids , my husband as a (detective) and my other family and any1 out there its a real worry cos u don’t know what will happen nx I don’t even read the papers anymore its just heartache I wish and pray our Country change but will never leav my roots or family 🙂

  5. Lee-Anne
    2015-04-23 / 14:29

    Today, I am packing, packing, packing…we are leaving and heading overseas. Other countries have their problems, yes! But they don’t have problems the same as here and most certainly they still have hope. And that is South Africa’s biggest problem, is that the hope has been lost and I think there is a massive ground swell of hopelessness which is the root of all the issues at the moment. With Zuma at the helm, all of Nelson Mandela’s ideals have faded and left us wondering how he can’t see it?!

  6. 2015-04-23 / 16:22

    having left my own country of birth, running away from a bad managed country were there is no hope a all, with the hope of getting a better life for my family, a future for my children, it hasn’t been easy for us all having to adjust to new life, new friends, new language, culture food, and everything that you could ever think of it was not easy, only to realize that the new place we chose to call home is not as safe as we thought, the adjustment and the processes to leave a normal life are not easy. In majority of the cases as long as you have a temporary permit /visa you don’t qualify for anything at all. its painful to be told even if after 7 years of living a life were you have to prove that you are worth something you are contributing towards nation building still you are considered a foreigner. even by the people that you have worked with associated with had get together s with, still considered you as not one of their own but will call you always foreign national. my dear Shan as much bad as it is and the future looks bleak, i would advice its better to remain in your own motherland were you are not a subject of abuse, were you don’t have to prove yourself, were you don’t have to worry about being harassed by the police about your identity, were you can easily be given first priority because you are a natural citizen, were you don’t have to worry about strict immigration laws, were you know your kids if they are girls they will be given first preference even if they are boys they also get 1st preference. Shan you are better off in your own country because you know that there is family around you that can assist you in any way celebrate with you and mourn with you, you dont have to save up for the whole year or more to visit your family, were you know in case of emergency a family member can just drop anything and come to your side within the hour, i would say stay you are a believer pray to the almighty God that he heals this nation for the sake of your kids to have identity that they can identify with.

  7. 2015-04-23 / 17:06

    Gosh, Shaney, This sounds miserable – I would have to leave, as I need peace and joy around me and then I can help others more clearly – my concern and love and prayers go out for you and so many – I hope to hear more of your story

  8. 2015-04-23 / 17:10

    I am so sorry you’re feeling so worried and unsafe in your country. I have never had to experience something like that but I couldn’t imagine what you must be doing through.

  9. 2015-04-23 / 17:38

    Wow. This is powerful. I see all kinds of things on the news, but I never stop to think about what it must feel like to actually live there and watch a place you love descend into madness. Thank you for sharing.

  10. 2015-04-23 / 17:53

    I can’t even imagine. To watch the home you know and love turn into a place like that. How terrible. I think you have to follow your heart, for sure!

  11. Della
    2015-04-23 / 18:02

    Your post really struck home with me. My husband and I talk about the daily issues our country face, we remember the days of being young and carefree – I’m only 37 and both my children are todlers. I carry those same fears, hurts and pain. Including myself, there’s not one member of my immediate family who has not been affected by crime. I’m not referring to petty crime, but serious crime. Shot, robbed and attacked. I was stabbed in my hand and robbed in daylight! What will my kids have to endure? Will my son be able to become a man? Will my daughter see her wedding day and will they live happy, free and in peace? God says we shouldn’t fear, I really try not too. It’s heartbreaking, devastating and so unnecessary! I kneel down and pray – that’s all I can do.

  12. 2015-04-23 / 18:07

    Im at the point where ive applied to another country I can no longer live in fear for my childrens sakes Judge me if you will but I feel that things may only get worse Yes I love my SA and work hard for my people I dont see race in the patients I nurse but others do So where does it end?

  13. 2015-04-23 / 20:19

    I’m oblivious because I have no idea what’s going on. We don’t have cable. So I don’t get to watch the news and I don’t read the papers so I’m going to have to go gooogling now. Your post broke my heart. I couldn’t live in fear like thay, you are mighty brave. I don’t know what I would do in that type of situation because I know my kids and my safety is number 1. I am so sorry to hear about your mom. I just really couldn’t imagine. I really hope things get better and that you and your family are safe from harms way.

  14. Heather
    2015-04-23 / 23:00

    I’m glad you are staying. 🙂

  15. Kerry
    2015-04-23 / 23:07

    We’ll be moving in August, to the UK. We have foreign passports and so the single thing making it difficult to leave is leaving my mother and sister behind, but for my daughter’s sake we have to try something new. She’s only 3 now and with criminal/violent things happening so often and so close to home the chances of her not being affected before she’s 10 are just too slim. Part of the reason (albeit a small part) is that taking the chance, ‘sticking it out’ and being ‘proudly South African’ doesn’t seem appreciated at all, I simply can’t shake the feeling that we’re not really wanted here anymore. Perhaps we’re wrong and we’ll move back if things don’t work out but for now, we simply can’t take the chance. Love and strength xx

  16. 2015-04-24 / 00:04

    I don’t know if you have daughters or sons and how old they are but I have a toddler and while other countries have problems, I will not be selfish and deprive my child of a life that has true freedom, freedom to play outside and to live without fear of having a life cut short, horrifically and gruesomely by evil people. Other countries have criminals and crimes but I can’t think of even 5 countries outside of Africa and South America whose criminals kill without as much as a second thought after taking the good people’s money, cars, belongings, etc. I can’t think of countries like South Africa where rape and other crimes even/especially against children and babies are more the norm than exception. My family is my husband and my children. And the others we love stay in our hearts. They have the same option, leave. And if they stay, like you want to do, that’s because they see it as what’s best for them.. As much as moving to a safer place is what’s best for some of us. What I can do for South Africa is to be included in my daily prayer.

  17. 2015-04-24 / 00:13

    I can only imagine how torn you must feel. I don’t think I would have an immediate answer either.

  18. 2015-04-24 / 00:14

    Oh wow- I am so sorry you are so torn and feeling unsafe in your country right now. I can’t begin to imagine how difficult that must be!

  19. Leandre
    2015-04-24 / 01:02

    I know exactly how you feel. But I don’t have a choice of leaving. I want to. But can’t. I think many of us are in this particular situation. I found myself, my mother and then 4 year old daughter staring into the barrel of a revolver 2 years ago. A wall divided myself and my daughter, I felt like a vulcano on the inside, I couldn’t see my child and I didn’t know if they saw her. I was forced to look down. After they left my mother and I went ballistic. To my surprise my daughter was sitting on the chair what I could swear was possession by an angel. She was calm. Collected. No fear on her face. She never even remembered the man standing 3 meters in front of her. She definitely didn’t act her usual self. Thank God they didn’t harm us. They took most of the easy portables. . . But they took more that night. They took the thing I valued most. They took my sense of safety. Security. They stole a piece of me that night. I still have night terrors. I still wake up to make sure everything is locked and safe. I look out the windows countless times every single night. If I could leave. I would. I would go to Alaska.

  20. 2015-04-24 / 01:43

    I don’t find you stupid or selfish at all. If you need to leave, you will know. Just try to stay as safe as possible.

  21. 2015-04-24 / 01:48

    If your life’s safety is on the line already, it is better to leave but I know that it is easier said than done. There are so many things to consider before leaving.

  22. 2015-04-24 / 02:12

    I would not want to leave my family and friends either. I do not know if i could live in fear like that. I hope your situation imporoves.

  23. 2015-04-24 / 04:06

    You write so beautifully about such a heartbreaking topic. I’m so glad you’re taking the time to make the decision that is right for you.

  24. Nimisha Dya Sharawon
    2015-04-24 / 08:40

    I want to leave but circumstances will never allow it as we are not that elite few that can afford to just think something and make it happen. But if everyone leaves then there would be no hope for this country and it will just keep heading in that downward direction that it has started to. Our children where suppose to be the legacy of a free country and everything was suppose to be about living a life without fear and discrimination. Everything that the freedom fighters fought for is going to vain and eventually we will end up in a mess like other neighbouring countries. People need to realise we can resolve all of this conflict and hate if they just take a stand and show people that we are all human and skin colour or privileged lives should never be the reason why people should be discriminated against. My honest opinion though is that all the hate, greed, poverty and senseless actions are being driven by people that are not being educated about the seriousness of their actions and are being further fueled by people with hidden agendas. All we can do is help by educating people and changing perceptions of what is really the problem at hand.

  25. Elmarie Tanya Gouws
    2015-04-24 / 08:46

    I would leave aswell to give my children a better life, BUT how can i just leave? i will never leave my mom, dad, and brother! nor wil i leave all my other family and friends, ill rather fight because this is home this is where we are born! ill just pray God wil help this land, the people hate to much this is sick!!

  26. Angelica Blake
    2015-04-24 / 08:47

    We made the decision to leave this year and will be out of here by the end of the year. I cant carry on living in fear and worrying about the future my children will have here. A friend of mine was adamant she would never leave SA, 6 months later her family were victims of a home invasion…now she’s doing everything possible to get out of here.

  27. 2015-04-24 / 08:47

    I am so sorry that you are going though this. I hope things get better soon for you and your country.

  28. Tanya White Clack
    2015-04-24 / 08:48

    I would leave tomorrow for my kids if I can give them a life without constantly warning them about crime

  29. Talita Praim
    2015-04-24 / 08:50

    many of us in a heart beat would want to leave. but this is home. there’s crime and so much violence BUT its not that bad we just need to be cautious. thank God the area we live in is safe and so beautiful. we need to pray for our country. I know it will get better. we need to stand together and let our voices be heard

  30. 2015-04-24 / 08:56

    Hi Shaney – your blog just captured everything I mentioned to my colleagues this morning. I have a rough nite last nite thinking of my and my families safety. This could happen to me too. Do we just live and faith. What is our option – do we have any?

  31. Jessica Moller
    2015-04-24 / 08:57

    You know what ladies, the sad truth about life is, it doesn’t matter where you go, crime is everywhere. Because bad people live everywhere. Yes our country is horrific with its crime, but so are a lot of other countries too, it seems worse for us because the news we hear everyday is about our country not any other one. I would also like to run away with my kids to protect them, however no matter where you go it’s not safe. I heard a very sad story a friend of mine, her uncle moved to Australia to make a better life for his sons, just to come back to S.A and to find out when they were in Australia their neighbour was sexually abusing both his sons. If you also look at the page of the fight against child abuse which I follow all you see is poor kids being hurt everywhere.

    • Emmie
      2015-04-26 / 19:03

      No other country besides war countries have so much violent crime as South Africa. I moved to Australia just over a year ago and I will never go back. Your eyes open up as soon as you look up.

      Don’t be like the frog in the pot of water who tries to get out too late and gets boiled alive.
      I love South Africa! I wish it could be different! But the sad truth is it is not normal to live in those conditions!!
      Good luck! May God bless and keep you

  32. Meghan van Lelyveld
    2015-04-24 / 08:58

    It’s like I wrote that article. I hear what some of you ladies are saying re crime and it being everywhere but I think we are being somewhat naive if we think everywhere produces the same crime stats. And even if they did – they still have electricity! So here’s the rub – HOW do we help our country?

  33. Katja Lindenberg
    2015-04-24 / 08:59

    I have lived in Tanzania, Zambia, Seychelles, holland and London. Yes there is crime everywhere- but not quite as ruthlessly violent as here. If someone wants to steal every item in my house that’s fine but it’s the unnecessary violence that goes with the crime that freaks me out! I adore South Africa- I hope to god that things come right and I really wish I was still so driven to be part of the solution, but I’m not anymore. It may make me a bad person but if I’m honest – I just cannot deal with the constant locking up, checking if I am being followed, worried about hijacking, too scared to go for a walk on my own etc. We are immigrating to France at the end of the year.

  34. Sarah Steel
    2015-04-24 / 09:00

    I’ve just moved here from the UK. I’ve lived in the U.S. And the UK. There is, at this moment in our lives, no where else I would live with my kids. There are so many pros here, as there are cons. But the same is true ALL over the world.

  35. Juandre Nel
    2015-04-24 / 09:02

    Shaney my husband is in the same position but his parents brought him here ftom Zimbabwe for the same reasons we are leaving SA. We feel it’s our responsibility to give our 4 daughters a better future. If we can we will bring his mom later

  36. Natalie B. Govender
    2015-04-24 / 09:03

    We’re off to New Zealand in a few years. So glad I spent last year converting my communications degree to a Teaching degree – at the insistence of my hubby! Writing my final exams at 7 1/2 months pregnant was definitely worth it!

  37. Carmen Blumrick
    2015-04-24 / 09:04

    AFRICA IS IN MY VIENS,i could never leave,if South Africa goes down the toilet there is always beautifull Namibia

  38. Geraldene Jackson
    2015-04-24 / 09:04

    We made the big move to NZ exactly 1 month ago. It is beautiful here & my two girls are loving it. The parks are so clean and well maintained. They can play outside without worries of intruders. It’s an emotional roller coaster especially if you have no family on the other side but I just look at my girls & know we did the right thing. Good luck, it’s not easy but definitely worth it. Never give up!

  39. Prevania Pillay
    2015-04-24 / 09:05

    It’s sad to say that we have to leave the country we are born in and leave our parents behind,but if we want our kids to have a chance, we have to…also worry about my parents…life is hard and our choices even harder

  40. Fi Ní Neachtáin
    2015-04-24 / 09:11

    I just read your post to my other half who is from Johannesburg and whose parents and brother still live there. He worries about them every single day and it’s heartbreaking. I think you’re very brave to stay and you’re right, everyone needs to pull together to help South Africa heal. Stay strong!

  41. Meagan
    2015-04-24 / 11:06

    I love this post, I could have written it myself (but not as eloquently). Our country has so much potential if we can just move past the prejudice and hatred. I endeavor not to make any race related comments in front of my daughter, if she asks I tell her that people look different and have different customs, but we are all the same and equal.

  42. 2015-04-24 / 13:31

    This is such a heart-felt post and it really resonated with me since I visited this beautiful country over 10 years ago! I fell in love with this magical place and the people as well. My friend is from South Africa and I often have conversations with her about all these ongoing issues. It’s really such a shame!! She is contemplating on whether or not to leave as well!

  43. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences there! Making the choice to stay or leave would be a difficult one. I’m so sorry you’re going through this!

  44. 2015-04-24 / 18:04

    🙁 I can’t believe what happened to your mom. That is so sad. Your post is such an eye opener. I know that you have alot weighing on you with such a big decision. I hope that you and your family stay safe.

  45. 2015-04-24 / 18:15

    I’m sorry to hear about your mom’s incident. I’m glad she’s home now and okay. I’m sorry to hear about the state of things as a whole too. 🙁

  46. 2015-04-24 / 19:00

    Oh I hope for nothing but peace and happiness for you and your surroundings.

  47. 2015-04-24 / 19:58

    Wow! I am just full of emotions from reading this. I am in the States, in Texas and this is all I know. There is violence here as well, but not so much in my city as there is in other cities. Once I moved out of Texas to Colorado and at first it was the best thing I ever did for myself, but I eventually moved back home because I missed my family, not because of violence. In Texas we carry guns everywhere, so that is my protection. I have never had to use it but I am glad to have it just incase .

  48. 2015-04-24 / 21:00

    Too often people in other countries only get to hear from the media but never from how it feels to live there. I couldn’t imagine being afraid in your own country but also the love you have to want to stay. I hope things get better.

  49. 2015-04-24 / 23:19

    I didn’t really know what was going on in South Africa, but your decision is a heavy one. Should you stay or go? Only you can know for sure. I can only hope that you don’t have to live in fear.

  50. bianca
    2015-04-24 / 23:40

    Other countries have their issues (on a completely different scale) and you will definitely face personal challenges moving; but these challenges will make you grow as a person rather than staying, living in fear and denying your kids freedom and opportunities which you know are lost in SA.

    I left 10 yeas ago when I was 19 (with my family) and realised that my future in SA was bleak. Friends graduating with double degrees at the top of their class couldn’t get a job for 4 years, watching my father get shot at and multiple times amoungst other things told me it was time to go. The 1st year is though but man i would not change it for anything Because I would never have been able to achieve what I have in the last 10 years in South Africa. Good luck with the decision.

  51. 2015-04-25 / 01:18

    My parents moved us from Belarus to Canada in 1998. They didn’t see the country changing any time soon and wanted a better future for us. I was 9 back then and now I’m 26 and have accomplished much more than I would’ve been able to back in my country. It all depends on how bad the cinductions are in your country.

  52. Angi Swart
    2015-04-25 / 02:42

    We left 3 years ago and are in Australia. We will never look back on our decision to leave, and posts like this only confirm it for us. My heart aches for my family, but we had to do what’s right for our children. I couldn’t sleep in SA as the fear was crippling. I would shout at my kids for just going 3 feet ahead in supermarkets, now they’re free to walk around. You can’t put a price on this type of freedom.

  53. 2015-04-25 / 07:02

    Tough decision! Hard to leave family and friends, but also hard to live in fear. I pray you find peace, and a decision that will bring joy to your lives.

  54. Katy
    2015-04-25 / 12:52

    Sad indeed. I live abroad for the same reason. Yearn to go back to my beloved South Africa but I can’t. My family is more important than to me their safety n well being overrides my desire to go back.

  55. 2015-04-25 / 22:15

    I can’t even imagine the struggle that you are going through at this time. Every country has gone through it’s tougher years but they can all pull trough! I wish all the very best and stay safe!

  56. 2015-04-26 / 05:00

    I’m very sorry to hear about the struggles you are having in your country. I cannot imagine what it feels like to reside in a place where people live in constant fear. Only you can make the decision that is right for you, but I would imagine, safety first would be my primary concern.

  57. 2015-04-26 / 12:46

    I love South Africa just as much as the next saffer, but life is way better outside of it, than in it. Almost all of the items that are dragging it down, do not exist abroad.
    The ‘relationship’ between the citizen and the country is not unlike that of a victim in an abusive relationship; they fear leaving and bullsh*t themselves that it’s normal and no better elsewhere. It’s only after they have the courage to leave that they discover they were lying to themsleves about how bad things really were. The most common statement I read from Saffers living in SA is that ‘these problems occur everywhere else in the world’, when they simply don’t. Sorry to burst your bubble.

  58. Sera C
    2015-04-26 / 14:51

    I immigrated from South Africa to the Netherlands 5 years ago and safty was one of my main concerns as well as a stable financial future. I just couldn’t take the fear anymore. Other countries have problems to but problems don’t come out of nowhere. Research the country you plan to move to and open your heart to a new culture. It could save your life.

  59. 2015-04-27 / 03:53

    I don’t exactly keep up with the news since it’s so shrouded with so much negativity. However, it’s so heartbreaking to hear that is all going on in your country right now! I wish there will be a day when we all can unite together in peace.

  60. 2015-04-27 / 14:02

    I just want to thank you as a fellow Blogger in RSA for writing the post you did. I too have questioned ways of leaving this country. Esp after living abroad for 4 years previously and experiencing the other side. Yes the whole world has problems and every country has their issues, but there are so many more countries out there with problems I rather deal with than RSA any longer. I cant defend a place that doesn’t want to help itself anymore. The violence, the fear, the attacks, the attacks I have physically and emotionally been involved in myself. I am done.

    I will be writing my piece soon again, thanks for giving me the strength.

  61. 2015-04-27 / 21:38

    My heart hurts for you. There is so much ugliness in the world that it’s overwhelming to think of how to make things better. I wish the best for you and your family.

  62. 2015-04-28 / 21:51

    This is a beautiful post, and an issue people are facing in locations all over the world. I am so sorry that you feel unsafe in your home. Thank you for reminding me that my grievances are small. Praying for peace for people in your country, and all over the world.

  63. K
    2015-04-29 / 06:15

    I’m one of those that left. It was a choice between my family whom I’m close with or my kids’ future. . Since living in Aus the biggest thing I realized was how much we sacrificed living in SA. We have true freedom and peace now, and I cannot imagine ever giving this up!

  64. 2015-04-29 / 11:38

    Thank you so much for sharing your feelings about your life and living in South Africa. You and your family will be in our thoughts and prayers.

  65. jessicasimms
    2015-04-30 / 18:57

    That sounds really tough, just being in the situation is tough but being a mother and trying to figure out whats best for your children makes everything that much more difficult. There is so many things going on in this world it almost makes me scared to leave out of my home at times since these riots in Baltimore (which is very close to me) is happening. Makes your worried about what will happen and if your kids will even have a chance to reach their potential while so many other irresponsible selfish young minded people run around tearing everything down.

  66. 2015-05-13 / 10:07

    My thoughts exactly I am scared for my husband as he is not South African, I have been thinking about leaving My Country too, but the thought of being a Foreigner in a different country makes me scared but I am worried about my daughter growing in country like this.

    It remains a very big question should we leave or stay?

  67. Michael
    2015-05-14 / 21:55

    My heart goes out to you…we left a few years ago and now live in Austria. As I was reading the article I realized I have since being in Europe, almost never thought of personal safety. My front door is unlocked, we have no burglar bars, no fence, there is no alarm, no ADT and no “car guards” at our local shopping centrum. Our Labrador we brought with from SA has never barked in anger, she is quite useless as a guard dog and our 18 year old daughter travels to Vienna every weekend alone by train sometimes late at night. Drivers adhere to speed limits, road rage is extremely rare, cars stop at pedestrian crossings, everything works and there is electricity 24/7. Medical treatment is basically free as is education. Trains are clean and run on time, you can get by without a car thanks to public transport and if something extra ordinary happens, emergency services respond by law within 10 minutes.

    Is it easy to leave your country? No, it takes “guts” and perseverance, the same “guts” and perseverance our forefathers had when they left Europe to settle in SA. The reality is that for us moving back to Europe seven plus generations later IS going home. Besides, now we can visit beautiful SA as tourists when we want to and stimulate the growing tourist industry. We have send many of our new friends and colleagues to SA and remain ambassadors. We wish the very best resolution for SA and it’s great people however, if you can return to your ancestral home (Europe) then do so…you are welcome and wanted here.

  68. cindy
    2015-05-17 / 09:03

    We also feel this way every minute of everyday and I get so upset at times because hubby is a heavy sleeper and nothing disturbs his sleep so me been the light sleeper every sound wakes me and my heart beats so fast I feel it in my throat.I also triple check everything the whole night,pray for long until I fall asleep then I hear noises again barely after closing my eyes and I pray again.I sleep maybe 4 hours a night.paranoia has become me. I feel extremely unsafe here.Now they start killing and robbing in broad daylight, just last month down the road from us an elderly Lady was stabbed to death in her own garden while tending to her flowers! They just felt like killing someone, they did not even go into her house and take anything, just had a ball stabbing her all over…… When someone knocks on my door my heart starts pounding and my palms get sweaty and shaky because I do not have friends so who should be bothering me? Mybaby is not even 2 and I can’t even put her in a crèche from fear she will be kidnapped etc.yes many caretakers accept money from kidnappers because their need for money is more important than the life of an innocent. Tired of this constant fear.the parks are empty, most broken down.when i was small there was nothing more fun than playing in the park with other friends, swinging, sliding etc and now? Now the parks are empty, no more laughter from kids no more parks filled with kids and picnics under the tree.not even going to the beach is safe anymore! We have to live like prisoners in our own homes and not even our homes are safe anymore. You must allow the criminals to come in and do as they please with you but do not even shoot them or defend your self because you will be sent to jail.why must we pay rent, taxes etc if we are not even safe in our homes??????? Sure mr president take our money while our kids get raped or sold to the sex trade etc.while we get tortured and all the rest of ugly stuff. Tired of no sleep, chains around our gates and not even that keeps them out! I wish we could also leave but money and passports etc is what is keeping us here

  69. Anthea
    2015-06-15 / 23:09

    I am a born South African I love my country so much, I am a Believer but my son is turning 3 in Sept and I have made a decision to leave. You cannot live in fear everyday, I personally think the country is more divide then ever. Our government has lost the plot. The gap in inequality are getting worse. I am giving up my beautiful country, my 724 sqm house, my 360 degree view, my family and friends not for greener pastures but for my son to enjoy his childhood, to be able to play in a park, to ride a bike on a cycle only pavement. All countries have their problems but I feel like a prisoner for too long I need a break. Some of us are fortunate but if you are a parent you need to do what you think is best for you and your family.

    • Elds
      2016-01-14 / 17:09

      I am also looking at leaving, the crime is one thing its quite another if your own government is telling all the desperate folk that being white makes you a criminal by default. What I have I have worked hard for my parents were never rich I had to make my own way from school. My son and daughter will not be able to live complete lives here. If my skin was black it might still be worth staying but I have to be realistic. I have hit the ceiling at my job only black people can move up. Why must I stay? If I have to suffer to give kids a better future isn’t that the choice I made when I decided to become a father?

  70. 2017-04-06 / 19:54

    It’s so hard and I know this is something on many people’s mind at the moment. But I so love this country.

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