Angry South African Expats

What I’ve come to realise, over the past few weeks, is that there can be no angrier, more unreasonable person on the planet than the South Africa expat who is told that the country has not gone up in flames (yet) and that we actually spend a lot of time camping, hiking, hanging out on the beach and drinking very nice, inexpensive wine on our expansive lawns in the sunshine while somebody else does the ironing. I think it is fair to say that a goaded bull with a punctured testicle being shown 42 red flags simultaneously could not be more enraged than the (ex) South African who sold up, spent all their money on relocating their family to Wellington before the Swart Gevaar put a torch to the entire country only to find that it’s not quite the utopia they imagined and that their life is actually kakker than before.

When I wrote On Moving Back to South Africa I really did it for myself. It was a way of coming to terms with my own feelings, and trying to make sense of this country I choose to call home. Never in my wildest imaginings did I think it would get over 40 000 views in the first few weeks, get posted and re-posted all over the world, appear on the official South African Homecoming Revolution website and that I would get inundated with comments, thoughts and opinions. And while most, by far, have been extremely positive and a few have politely but vehemently disagreed, there is a small contingency who were made so cross by my allegations that South Africa is still a rather nice place to live out ones days I could practically see the spittle flying from their mouths as they did Rumpelstiltskin dances of rage and shouted abuse at me from their couches in Queensland.

And it’s a curious thing, because if you’re really, really happy in your new home abroad and you’re really, really pleased to have left this cesspit of hell, why would you care enough to get so emotional? All that their comments told me (which were, unfortunately, verging on abusive so I had to trash them) is that they feel deeply conflicted about their decision to leave, and that my story of settling well and loving what this country has to offer seriously messes with their heads. And I can understand that – it must be a fuck up of note to have convinced yourself that we were on the verge of apocalypse and that leaving was the only sensible option only to come back in December and find that your friends are doing very nicely in their holiday houses in Onrus, rump steak costs next to nothing and Woolworths dips keep getting better.

I have friends who left for Canada a while back and come back every summer, and their confusion is tangible. Because it’s the same old place it ever was. Even with that mad bastard JZ in power. We still go for picnics on Clifton 4th; hang out on the café strip; drink bubbly and watch the sunset; swim in our pools; have lekker braais. The story they had to tell themselves (and keep telling themselves and everyone who’ll listen) about why they left the country they loved gets a bit frayed at the edges when their buddies invite them over for fresh kreef and the kids have a jol being outdoors all day and half the night and Spur sauce still tastes good on everything. I’m not saying this country doesn’t have serryass problems, but for now it’s the same old place and sheesh, you have a cool life.

And neither am I saying that some people don’t leave South Africa happily and settle well and never look back, but they aren’t the ones writing me cross letters. And I feel for them, I really do. For me, leaving South Africa permanently would break my heart. Maybe their hearts got a bit broken and the only way they know how to deal is by running the country down and calling those of us who still live here – or, god forbid, came back – names. A writer whose name I forget once said in a novel, ‘Africa is not easily forsaken by her children.’ I never forgot those words. For whatever reason, this country gets under your skin. It holds you in its grip, and I see a kind of emotional attachment I haven’t witnessed in any other place.

A journalist friend of mine went to Australia to interview South African expats, and many had had to undergo some kind of therapy in order to come to terms with leaving. You hear of South Africans going down on their bended knees and kissing the tarmac when they get off the plane. I did it myself when we moved back permanently. Maybe it’s because our country has suffered so much, and we have witnessed its turmoil and anguish and then danced in its (rather short-lived) victories. Or maybe it’s something else; an intangible, indefinable quality that inspires this deep love and reverence.

So, I say this to the expats who need to sound off and be haters in order to justify their choices: let us love our country if that is what makes sense to us. We don’t yell at you and accuse you of abandoning ship because you’re living in Maida Vale. We are happy that you have homes in London because now we have somewhere to stay when we go overseas with our tragic Rands. You made a choice to go, like we made a choice to stay. No amount of shouting is going to convince us that we’re deluded. We read the papers; we get it. You don’t have to point out crime stats to us. For better or for worse, we have made peace with our decision, as you are going to have to make peace with yours.

And the thing is this: you talk about not being ‘free’ in South Africa. I lived in Sweden for eight years and as I ventured out, day after day, under a low-hanging grey sky to take my children to school in a gloomy, high-rise building where everybody I encountered seemed chronically depressed, that is when I felt unfree. Where there were so many rules I was afraid to do anything; where the weather was so crap we spent our lives watching TV, and where everybody lives for the end of the year so that they can get the hell out and feel like they’re alive. Now, I feel alive every single day. And it’s freaking awesome. A moment of shameless sentimentality, but I love this so much. And, like old Thabs says, today it feels good to be an African.

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554 thoughts on “Angry South African Expats

  1. Although you do live in the Western Cape. When I lived in the Western Cape I was also in resounding agreement with you. Having moved into the interior though, I must say life under ANC leadership is decidedly kakker.

    1. That’s kak to hear :-) I am very aware that I don’t speak for the rest of SA. Thanks for your comment. Let’s hope those leaders of ours start leading sometime soon.

      1. Well, though I know live in the Western Cape and LOVE it, I’ve lived in Gauteng, the Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and (tho this last one was pre ANC rule) Natal too – and enjoyed all of them. Mpumalanga and the WC have been my favourite, but I’d happily live in any of these spots again.

        There maybe bad spots, in fact I’m quite confident there are, but it’s NOT a case of ‘Western Cape Good, rest of SA bad’.

        Ps: I would not AS happily live in Gauteng again, I must add. Though I was never the victim of any serious crime, and only a couple (4 I can think of) of my friends were, it DOES put me on edge too much, and I do find myself looking over my shoulder way too often for my liking. I should add that many of my Jozi friends DON’T feel that paranoia though, so my nervousness isn’t universal.

      2. Well, though I now live in the Western Cape and LOVE it, I’ve lived in Gauteng, the Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and (tho this last one was pre ANC rule) Natal too – and enjoyed all of them. Mpumalanga (i.e. Interior, and ANC governed) and the WC have been my favourite, but I’d happily live in any of these spots again.

        There may be bad spots, in fact I’m quite confident there are, but it’s NOT a case of ‘Western Cape Good, rest of SA bad’.

        Ps: I would not AS happily live in Gauteng again, I must add. Though I was never the victim of any serious crime, and only a couple (4 I can think of) of my friends were, it DOES put me on edge too much, and I do find myself looking over my shoulder way too often for my liking. I should add that many of my Jozi friends DON’T feel that paranoia though, so my nervousness isn’t universal.

  2. By the time I got to kissing the soil I had a lump in my throat; I will NEVER NEVER leave my beloved country.
    at a dinner with foreign journos just after 1994 some dude from AFP said “but why didn’t you leave; how could you tolerate …..” etc etc And I said “rather ask us why we stayed”

  3. We are all children of the earth. You cannot outrun the problems of the nation to which you are born. Stay or go… you’ll encounter good and bad wherever you come to rest. Every single country on this planet faces one or many different crises. Globally we share in an overwhelming, urgent need to care deeply for our planet. South African or not, we share in this responsibility. I think the premise of this article, is a shared love of our country and each of us deal with that love by either staying or leaving because we are so committed or feel so deeply betrayed by this land that we love. But what we share, as South Africans, is a spirit of hope, of love and a desire to ‘make a better life’… and we do that wherever we go. We bring light and love and energy to the places we live in and that is what unites us. I say stay and make a difference, or go and spread the energy that truly makes us South African. We have all lived, loved, fought, toiled in our own way, together in this country and we have true blessings to share with the world – I think expats have mixed feelings because no matter where they live, they know and we all know that we are all South African brothers and sisters, for better or worse – we are family. So I say, let’s spread out over the globe and share our love and light ;-). And love each other for it. Happy friday all!

  4. wow. there are a lot of comments. and i don’t have the time to read through them.
    I do like your points and your loyalty to our awesome country.
    here are my two cents.
    I lived abroad for three years. I enjoyed it. I missed SA though.
    The weather, the people, the “freedom” too.
    I do however miss being abroad now. I have been back in SA for 2 years… but i miss the UK. why?

    1) i miss public transport. It’s a good system. you gotta admit
    2) safety is cool. I would cycle home at 11pm after watching a football game in a pub. I felt safe
    3) but mainly i miss it, because its easier to travel from there.

    I love south africa.
    1) but its hard to travel
    2) money is too tight and scarce here.

    dare, I say:

    – people who really enjoy life here do life in the more wealthier “westernized” areas.
    – i mean Camps Bay and stuff… those places feel international, right?

    but, I am no hater. :) thanks for the cool blog. I am even gonna click the FOLLOW button now. haha

    1. Thanks, Darrel, and I agree with everything you’ve said. I miss Sweden sometimes too. What I’ve realized is no place has everything, you just have to make choice that feels right for you. Thanks for the follow :-)

  5. Have a look at http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/teachers-watched-as-boy-was-beaten-report-1.1600483#.UnNZOnAgsbw

    The boy died. There has been regular assaults lately, almost weekly. And the affirmative action teachers does nothing.

    Seeing that teaching levels are so low these days that it is not accepted internationally, do you want to raise a family in the new South Africa?

    But understand it takes an average 30 years for the cancer of corrupt government to have it’s effect. Expatriates remember the good old days, but wait another 10 years and we can talk

    These are the future adults of SA, killing each other and their authorities don’t care.

  6. Same old place? I should hope not.

    We’ve been free for 20 years, but we were not free before that. It is too easy to forget the darkness from which we have come. Yes, we still havbe problems, but they are normal problems, the ones you find in any democratic country — crime, poverty, corruption, crooked politicians on the make. You name it, if they’ve got it anywhere, we’ll have it here too. But the freedom we have now that we didn’t have before — that’s new.

  7. I am amazed reading all the comments. Surely everyone is entitled to their own opinion and decisions and part of being fair is to respect everyone’s decision for leaving or staying. Sadly though there are some who chose to lambaste the leavers and some who lambaste the stayers. What I do find very sad is that in most instances the ones attacking the leavers are allowed to continue to write on this blog. The ones who have left who respond and defend their decisions for leaving have their posts removed, smacks of hypocrisy case in point some expats have made some pretty valid points but I noticed many of their posts have been removed, makes me wonder what has happened to freedom of speech

    1. Lots of opposing views have remained, some I strongly disagree with, but after a lot of thought I have made the decision that people who are mean, hateful and vindictive will simply not be given space on my site.

  8. Dear Susan,

    I came across your blog accidentally in fb today. As they say nothing is accidental…I am from country called Azerbaijan. I write about my beautiful country on my http://shekiazerbaijan.blogspot.com/

    What you are writing in this post can refer to Azerbaijan and many other countries as well. I come across this so often that by now my immune system doesn’t react to it anylonger. I guess the whole matter is about being in peace…with yourself…with your origins…with your past and with your land…Wherever you go..wherever you are.

    Best wishes.

    1. I agree with you totally.People who have problems in their heads will take the problems with them wherever they go. Its not about the country, its about being at peace with oneself. From this standpoint, we can THEN respond to situations that arise in our everyday life. Personally for me, South Africa has a huge amount of birthing pains still to experience. I choose to stay here because I am African, and my “get away time” on holiday is Europe or the Far East. I have lived with the changes since 1994, and still my choice is to stay. I validate that every time our plane makes it’s final approach to O R Tambo Airport. I am home. My home of choice – with all it’s issues. My heart swells with pride and my eyes tear up. Thats how I know where I belong. I truelly believe that the next 20 years in South Africa are going to be more significant – I am white, but my black brothers and sisters are themselves less than satisfied about the crime, lack of homes. education etc that the Government promised them. The ruling Government who fixes these problems will be held in the same esteem by the PEOPLE OF THE LAND as they did with Nelson Mandela. A man/or woman who is prepared to pick up the baton of this man, can write his/her name in the history books of this beautiful country.

  9. You can’t watch this video and not have feel good chills through your body. Wow…this is my country.

  10. Well I disagree
    – For one Susan’s article (never met her btw) doesn’t discredit any expat that leaves these shores. It criticises the angry ones. Most posters have done the same.
    – There are plenty dissenters (even angry ones) who’s posts remain untouched
    – There are the sorts you mention on this blog just like there are the sorts that are “Angry Expats”

    As long as the rules are consistent then I have no issue.
    If a ‘stayers’ bad language is condoned and an expats bad language is extinguished then I agree with you

    I have no issue with bad language being censored. You can add personal attacks to the list as well. Personal attacks have no place either but thats my standard and I dont own the blog..

    As for the Die Antwoord analogy. Well I share the dislike of Die Antwoord but why are they relevant? The rules for this blog need not be the Lowest Common Denominator.
    Die Antwoord have Freedom of Expression in most civilised countries.
    They are free to have a blog (I think they do) where such bad language is allowed.
    We are free to visit or not visit.

    However IF you think Susan has censored bad language and personal attacks unevenly then I am all ears.

  11. The thing is, wherever you go, you swop one set of problems for another. Whether we stay in SA or pack for Perth, we have to be comfortable in our cognitive dissonance. Yes, there are days I’m depressed about what’s happening in our country, especially when I see what’s happening with the usual unholy trinity of crime, corruption and (non)-education. But there were days when I lived in the UK when I was depressed because of the grey, the dark and the unfriendliness (and the bitterness of some of my fellow countrymen.) I chose to come back. I’m happy for those who’ve moved and found a better life; yet I neither envy nor deride them. I am an Earthling. You are an Earthling. Get over it. :)

  12. I’m curious, does ‘someone else’ who is doing your ironing share your views? Or is her lawn perhaps not as ‘expansive’ as yours…?

    1. Hello, emma. Perhaps your curiosity could stretch to wondering what “someone else” would be doing if she wasn`t ironing Susan`s clothes, and what she would be doing for income.

      1. Just spotted this, and thought I MUST say (as I have posted a lot) that this ‘Emma’ is NOT me… I hope Susan can see that from the email attached, and I hope it’s not just someone purposefully hijacking my name, as my personal (liberal) Political ideologies hopefully read fairly loudly in my other posts. I’m entirely in support of paying for work under current economic circumstances.

        And as an aside, it just so happens that my maid’s garden in KZN was significantly larger than my one in London, or the US or -for that matter- now in the Western Cape. But that is a red-herring. It is CLEARLY true that there is a grotesque gap in wealth between me and her, and between the haves and have nots.

        I also think, as Susan said earlier, that it’s important to acknowledge the system’s differences. It’s true – I sometimes go wine tasting or swimming while people clean my home. But I also used to go to the West End theatre while people in Chinese sweatshops made the shoes many of us theatre-goers were wearing. I did benefit by cheap consumables in the USA, made cheap by people exploited around the world. I also benefitted from Australia’s wealth, much of which is built on exploiting the rest of the world (and contrary to posts before, Australia DOES exploit Africa’s minerals significantly, despite being the world’s 3rd largest mineral producer. That’s a small part of exploitation though) – etc etc.

        The GLOBAL system is imbalanced and messed up, and personally I feel LESS guilty – not more so – living in South Africa and having the imbalance visible rather than hidden by Geography and distance. It means I am mindful of it, and can actively combat it. If even a few people wind up in a different life position because of this – and I know ‘skin-on-skin’ that this is already the case – that lets me sleep far easier at night in an imbalanced world.

  13. Ag, sitting here in the cold wet Northern Irish autumn, this has made me cry. I miss (in my diepste binnestes) my country. I am and will always be an African and I ache for the wide open expanse of sky and the dry heat that pricks my skin and I despair that my children aren’t Africans.

    Thank you for reminding me of home

  14. Ah so many stereotypes here, I am 60 years old, I work, I do my own housework and gardening. I iron, I get down on my hands and knees and i clean the floors. Not many of us here can afford a domestic worker or a gardener. We stay because we have no choice. But we make the most of it. We embrace our new culture and we maintain a sense of humour. We are patriotic because we want to be, after all this is still a great place to be. We don’t need anyone to make us feel insecure, for that we listen to the news. I am happy for the folks who have found a new life elsewhere………..well done. But we are here trying to do the best we can, because that is all that is left to us, so leave us the Hell alone

  15. I read your account of the day in the life of a South African maid, which touched me deeply. I find it ironic, though, that that moving, thought-provoking post was juxtaposed next to THIS one – above – which essentially boasts about lives of white privilege, ‘drinking wine on the lawn while someone else does the ironing’ – and demonstrates no self-awareness at all for the ongoing inequality that enables the ‘us’ in your narrative to have such a nice life. This in itself is one of the ‘serryass’ problems you refer to. It saddened me, and coloured my reading of the other post, which had moved me so much. I don’t think you can cast a critical gaze on white privilege with one eye and brag about it with the other – surely…

    1. Again, I did not create the disparity, I am documenting it. Should we pretend it doesn’t exist? That (a lot of) white people don’t have the life of Riley amidst horrific poverty and social ills? Lets tell it like it is.

      1. Agree with Susan on this. I find people who pretend it’s ‘just as hard’ for middle class South Africans (including most white people here) far more galling. It’s better to be observant of what the situation is, and be clear and honest about it.

  16. Good read, I grew up in Cape Town and on my mother’s advice, went traveling when I was 18 and have never really stopped. I met my wife, who is from New Zealand, in London 12 years ago and we share the passion of travel. We have been very fortunate to have lived in many countries around the world and have been in Sydney for the past 6 years. What I have realised, is that all cities/countries have their nuances as well as the obvious pros and cons, but more importantly, the experience has to be put in context, in particular the place you were at in your life and the people who you met along the way.

    There are many things I miss about life in South Africa… family, friends, the energy/friendliness and the “good life factor”. Since starting a family, I feel guilty that my son does not having regular access to his Grandparents, my wife’s family is in New Zealand too.

    I come back home every 2 to 3 years and whenever I come back, I also get asked the same questions… when you coming back, why don’t you live here and enjoy the good life. My answers have changed over the years, when I was younger I enjoyed the freedom and excitement of travel as well as having a rebellious streak but since starting a family it really boils down to two factors: security, given the we have a choice to live almost anywhere, if something happened to my wife, my sone or me, I could never forgive myself and the chance of it happening in SA is higher than most places. Now many people may disagree with this approach and I am okay with that, and Yes, I know that bad things happen in every city in the world too. Opportunity, I work in IT so finding a job would be relatively easy but finding the right job with the right challenges maybe a little more difficult. What opportunities will my son have. I know there are great schools but when I respond with this answer, most people say that there child will be heading overseas to work or live…

    One thing I learnt early on in my life is that we all have varying opinions and points of view and that what is good for one person is not necessary good for another, or the timing is not suitable. Traveling has also taught me not to focus on the materialistic lifestyle, but rather on the adventure and excitement the experience may (or may not) offer. Moving back to SA is an option in the future, but there are many other places and cultures that we want to immerse ourselves in first.

  17. To Carol Myburgh, yes, I am fully aware of our history, I lived through it. But nothing is as simple as it looks, and history is also re-written. As the saying goes. Always two sides to a story. Ask a lot of people of colour today and they will shock you with their answer. But ‘ ja..nee” I will let that sleeping dog lie. Not even God can change the past, as Dr Phil would say.
    However, I will still add, it was OUR problems and whilst some of us whine and bitch amongst ourselves, we do not, at least, I do not point fingers at anyone else, until they keep pointing theirs at me. I have family who moved to Sydney some 26yrs ago, and to this day they would come here and run this country down, until earlier in the year, I decided to put an end to it. Then they nogal brag about some Swiss guy who spent a week over here and thinks he should do whole speeches overseas in the States on how bad SA still is treating the poor or in Apartheid, not in reverse mind you, but refers to the past. Who the heck does this guy think he is, to become the overnight spokesperson for SA. So I really let them have it for the first time in the 26yrs that I have had to put up with it on their annual visit. Yep, Keep using SA as the scapegoat.

    What happens over here, poverty, racism, crime, corruption happens in most other countries except that we make a meal of it EVERY day in the media. Google the highest count for rapes, and we’re not even in the top 10. Yep! Google any one of these despicable acts, and its all over, in places you would not even dream of it happening. But the exposure we’re subjected to about our crime, overwhelms everyone and everything else. We can get it under control, as we did with the Soccer WC, it can be done, so there is hope if we can unite.

    If we can get the fertility and welfare support for it under control, then poverty can be curbed. Please don’t give me the nonsense about education, of course, but we were also given our heavenly common sense. I’m not always politically correct, because I cant stand the pretentious s…t that goes with it. And if the majority can focus more on building the country instead of destruction, then we can make progress, but the top needs to do some ‘mindset building’ instead of ‘entitlement’ issues. The same way that countries all over the world were destroyed in wars and had to rebuild brick by brick. No rocket science, just simple realistic progress. It can be done! We can move forward as even a single life invariably experience cataclysmic change.
    But…but…our problems are still ours, we dont brag about a better lifestyle at the expense of another country’s hardships and destruction!! That to me is not better!!

  18. I forgot to mention, that my family in Sydney were robbed 3 times in the first year they moved over there, 26 yrs ago. Their excuse, dont laugh, ‘yes but the burglars there are different to ours, they leave the place intact.” Okay!

  19. I am an African. I love my home, but it had nothing left to give, it didn’t offer me a future and so I left those cherished grounds for better opportunities, I would come back in a heartbeat but things have to change and if our people are not willing to stand up and be counted, to say no, that the transgressions that take place on a daily schedule are not right and that we want to make it right then the only place s forward. I love the way you put things because it is true, it is a daily conflict to not live in your own land, I still get goosebumps when I hear the anthem, I still live and die by our rugby and Im still a South African BUT at some point enough has to be enough.

    the thing tho is you are right, we made our choices, we must live by them however one day something has to give and at that point there are only 2 choices. stand up and change it or let it become just another African country that tried but ended in bloodshed, I hope its the former cause I wil come back to be on that frontline..It maybe that a call to arms so to speak is what is actually needed for our country a change of leadership where we the people stand up and take ownership for a country that can be great but lacks the leadership to put us there. The best thing that happened to South Africa was Mandela and I hope that in its future another can be found to lead her out of the darkness.

  20. I am an African. I love my home, but it had nothing left to give, it didn’t offer me a future and so I left those cherished grounds for better opportunities, I would come back in a heartbeat but things have to change and if our people are not willing to stand up and be counted, to say no, that the transgressions that take place on a daily schedule are not right and that we want to make it right then the only place s forward. I love the way you put things because it is true, it is a daily conflict to not live in your own land, I still get goosebumps when I hear the anthem, I still live and die by our rugby and Im still a South African BUT at some point enough has to be enough.

  21. Every country has it’s issues – We just choose the ones we want to live with! I live in Northern California in the middle of wine country and couldn’t be happier. Hope you all find your piece of paradise too, wherever that may be!

  22. I need to respond to a few of you that castigated Susan for her vacuous, decadent ways whilst the workers toil doing all the work she would rather not do. It’s directed at me as well since I too live the good life. Glen, Maputo, Marelise, Ms Myburgh et al. This is addressed to the minority of expats that seem to claim a moral high ground they are most definitely not entitled to. It is not directed at the positive ex pats but you are welcome to read.

    At the outset a disclaimer. I cannot defend our country’s sordid past or the inequalities that exist here. I am responding to the SA ex pats. I don’t expect others to understand the context.

    I don’t know Susan. She lives the other side of the mountain. Instead of Bubbles in Clifton for me it is time in the Forries Beer Garden, watching rugby and cricket at Newlands and great lunches and wine tasting at Constantia’s wine farms.

    Perhaps I can ask you critics some questions. You don’t need to answer them on this blog. Just ask yourselves the questions.

    a) Why would you assume we all treat our staff badly? Whilst many don’t treat their staff well it is much better than it was when you guys were in SA. The domestic team that I employ work 8:30 to 4:30 working days only. That means I am never sipping wine while they are ironing since I start work before them and end after them. Their work enables me to work longer, make more money and pay them better. Speaking for myself I pay approx. 2.5x the minimum wage. I am more generous than most people I know but not a lot more. Many others pay what they can afford. If the wages went up too much many less well off people would dispense with domestic staff and they would be without jobs. Do you think that is smart? A minimum wage job is better than no job.

    b) Do you really think we should do our own domestic chores and leave the workers unemployed?
    We cannot turn around a couple hundred years of oppression overnight and miraculously educate millions of uneducated people.
    What we can do is treat staff decently. Encourage them to educate their children. Help with that education. There are plenty of people that still treat their staff the old way. It gets less all the time.

    c) Do you guys not see the irony in some of you enjoying the luxuries that life in Europe, Australia, America affords you? Many of those luxuries are out of our reach to most privileged SA sorts because of the exchange rate.
    Yet you got a good apartheid state sponsored education and you seem to think you should enjoy luxuries but we shouldn’t? Really?

    What do you think we should do? Carry on the same way but not blog about it? That helps.

    d) I am well off. Much better off than most previously advantaged South Africans (aka white people). Some of them can’t afford treat their staff as well. Some take advantage.

    Having said that I don’t place myself on a pedestal since it is easier for me. Every single person living and working in SA contributes toward righting the wrongs of the past. Even those that eke out a living pay taxes and contribute to the GDP.
    Taxes pay for small government grants, child benefits, housing, electrification etc.

    EVERY South African that leaves our shores hurts this. This is not to say you shouldn’t leave. It once again demonstrates the irony that most expats no longer help the SA poor and most people that have stayed do help the poor in some way. Yet *some* of the ones that left look down their noses at those that stayed

    e) I can take limitless criticisms from people without the context. It is impossible to understand our history easily. It is galling to be insulted by people that should know better.

    We have plenty of problems. Headway has been made. Millions of houses for the poor built. A lot of government grants. Sanitation, electrification etc.
    A far larger black middle class (its now bigger than the white middle class). etc.
    We have our problems to.There is a long, long way to go. It will take generations.

    I want all SA expats to do well overseas. Make us proud.
    However those that look down their noses at a situation they should understand. Think again.

    1. Thanks for the response David. I see your point but the thing is, you employing a domestic is actually not doing anyone a favour. The primary reason is for your own convenience. I cannot sit here and tell you how much I pay the polish ladies in London that work and how much I contribute to their households, education and take the credit for it. So I’m not quite sure why South african’s pretend to be doing everyone a favour. It’s for your own convenience & comforts. It’s a job for someone else. So let’s not pretend to be taking the moral high ground on that.
      By the way we expats do contribute to the economy. We have business interests, properties, invite our friends to a beautiful country and pay our yearly visits.
      We just don’t boast about how we would like to sit in the sun sipping champagne while someone else does the ironing. How does that come across to you?
      Ps: if I have to point it it. I didn’t receive an apartheid education. I’m a young black South African. (since I have to point it out. I have not spoken about race or read about people’s skin colour since being in Europe until this blog. This is why experiencing a different world is good. You see things differently).
      To be honest most people who stayed or returned did that for one reason. They couldn’t afford to live the same lifestyle anywhere else in the world. That’s about 98% of the commenting and yet there is this whole moral story.
      If the same lifestyle was given to them I wonder how their choices would differ??

      1. Hi Glen, thanks for your thoughtful response.
        I really didn’t say I was doing any domestic a favour. They work hard for their salary. I try hard to treat them right. It’s mutual benefit. No argument. I could pay far lower market related salaries but I don’t.

        My point is that the employment I offer is better than me not offering the job. I could let the house and garden get a little messier, tidy up on the week-end and not employ anyone. It may be mutual benefit but the fact remains it does help people. And everyone paying taxes, contributing to the GDP or sending money back is helping. I am sure you aren’t suggesting that I don’t employ them? What are you suggesting we do?

        Apologies for my generlalisation. Not all expats are previously advantaged. Of course you have made one yourself because I know many returning ex pats that returned from success overseas. They just missed home.
        Myself, I have never left apart from some overseas work which I continue to do from time to time. My longest stint was 1 year but that was pre-family.

        If Susan’s only crime is that she blogged truthfully about her life in SA it’s pretty much a non issue isn’t it? The article was about Angry expats. We have agreed quite a bit in previous exchanges and I don’t consider you the angry sort.

        1. I agree with David completely. He’s given previous posts in which he says he does not do these things as a Saint, but rather for his own comfort. He’s been quite clear about that. The ancillary effect of it benefitting staff though, is CLEARLY of value.

          Glen, I am extremely surprised that you say you have not had racial abuse overseas? All of my non-white friends have major stories of discrimination / conflict etc (this referring to the USA, UK and Australia)? There’s of course less discourse about it because history hasn’t necessitated it to the same extent. Ironically though, that irked my foreign non-white friends even more.

          1. @David: I understand what you mean. My comments are honestly not referred to you personally. My comments are aimed at the article and to a certain extent the writer. We are starting to live in a society where boasting is unacceptable and austerity is the course everyone is taking. And if you are lucky enough to lead a luxurious life then its not in everyone’s face or boasted about. Unfortunately it probably is a reflection of my values… But thats another discussion.
            Secondly the writer moved overseas and plays a video of a leader who she probably did not vote for or agree with his policies. But the video is put there to make her point using a man’s values and speech whom she probably disagrees with on a bigger scale. Very rich!
            The article are not a reflection of how our most noble leader like Nelson Mandela would be proud of. Thats not the kind of publicity i for as a South African would want to share with my fellow men abroad or in South Africa.
            But the article has the audacity to tell angry south african’s that our country is amazing stop preaching the problems.
            A good American friend of mine just returned from South Africa and this morning i received an e-mail from her. She made a decision for 2 days of her holiday not to stay in a 5star hotel and shop but spend the days in an orphanage. Long story short she is opening a charity. Thats the kind or publicity that makes a difference. The tone of this article and the source are just not credible enough for me. Unfortunately.
            @ Emma: With your comments to racism. Its not something i would like to engage in. But to put your mind to rest i have not come across that. If anything i’ve come across the nicest people. I am judged by my intellect and thats all i allow people to judge me on. I speak of my own journey ad i can’t speak for anyone’s journey. I never think of myself as black or defined by my features. Unfortunately in South Africa like it or not, its just what is. Just like some of the posts of people saying i love south africa and i’m a white. (What has one to do with the other?) Its those concepts that portray the undertone of people still living in an old order in South Africa.

        2. @Glen, Thanks for your reply. I still think you are inferring things not in evidence. The blog was about the small subset of expats that are seen as angry. Some inferred Susan was referring to all expats based on one sentence. Of course if one reads the whole article it is clear that it a subset. The responses received in some ways proved her hypothesis.

          However that’s not what you queried.
          The article wasn’t about how privileged South Africans of all races contribute to South Africa. How they treat their employees. Their neighbourhood work. Their community outreach work. Their charitable donations. And lastly their hard work that helps keep the economy moving along. The article isn’t about that. You cannot know what I do or what Susan does from an article about a largely unrelated subject. Maybe there is an article there Susan?

          I did take some exception to your words where you implied privileged returnees and stayers are only in SA because they couldn’t sustain their decadent lifestyle elsewhere. That may be true for a subset just like it is true that a subset of Expats are angry.
          At the risk of being cocky I believe I can be successful anywhere. I have working rights in Europe. We (my family) choose SA because we love it and I am inspired by it.

          It is ironic that you invoke Nelson Mandela’s principles. Well it was Nelson Mandela that inspired me not to leave during a very dark time. It was after the Boipatong, Bisho massacres but before the Shell House and St James massacres (not far from me as the crow flies). Nelson urged whites to stay and help the New South Africa because they had the skills and experience needed to do the job. I thought the great man was speaking directly to me (as though he named me) and when things have gotten down I have remembered that speech.

          As for Thabo well I didn’t always like his head in the clouds approach but I did admire his brain. You dont have to be his supporter to be inspired by him. I admire some of the writings of Marx and Trotsky despite being very free market in thinking.

          The “I am an African” speech is pure poetry. I have never liked to be called European (long before the speech) since I was born here and so was my father and mother. My grandparents came out from the UK as teachers. I am an African. I don’t need to fit Thabo’s exact bill of materials (not that he ever defined it and I reckon he may consider me an African). The colour of ones skin or place of birth doesn’t define Africanism. It is what is in ones heart that defines it.

          I wont say I will never live anywhere else in the world. I do know for sure that I will always be an African. I will die an African. Thanks.

  23. To really put the cat among the pigeons – you do not see unemployed Malawians, Zimbabweans, Congolese and Somalians in this country – they are all working and are the employees of choice these days in South Africa as our own indigenous people are toy toying for housing and waiting for more handouts which the ANC government stupidly promised them at election time. Most people think the ANC pays their grants and pensions and not the 8 million tax payers who work hard and do the right thing in order for these benefits to be paid out. However these are my only negatives of living in this country. I have immigrated twice to Australia and come back – there is no other place on the planet like South Africa. If you want to understand Africa, read Moeletsi Mbeki’s book – “The Architects of Poverty”. Everywhere in the world in developing countries you get the haves and the have not’s and that’s just the way it is!!! Give me Africa any day over places like Australia, where you can’t do handstands at school, can’t climb a tree and can’t bring cakes to school for fear of some kid having an allergy!! You can’t even get a compassionate hug from your teacher when you have fallen in the playground and scrapped your knee!!! We are allowed to really LIVE in this country and why we are still here, is that we take the good with the bad, and most of us try to make the difference in everyone’s lives.who live here.

  24. To dearest Carol Myburgh,

    The reply and comments on the article were directed to Susan Hayden and NOT to you!!
    Please keep your opinion of ny reply to yourself

  25. Having left South Africa in 1997 and having lived in Atlanta, GA since then I can tell you that people generally go through different phases as time goes by. I was one of them for sure. In the early years, the blogger is absolutely right, because we try justify our decision of choosing to live in a foreign country and human nature makes us compare ourselves to South Africa all the time. We then become somewhat competitive about it because we so badly want to know that we made the correct decision. By the end of about year 2 or 3, we realize that South Africa has not yet gone to hell and we are left trying to figure out if we did the right thing. I can tell you that those that are most outspoken are those that do not embrace the local culture that they have chosen to live in. I was lucky enough to keep an open mind about the USA and the decision to stay longer and more permanently was the right one for me. My advice to south Africans these days is that leaving south africa for the USA can be a great thing, but it is not for everyone. This place can easily chew you up and spit you out if you have the wrong attitude and mindset. Now having lived here all these years, I have come to terms with the fact that the USA is my home but I certainly love and miss South Africa. I was recently on my honeymoon in South Africa and can tell everyone that the weather, the Kruger, the Lifestyle, Cape town, etc is irreplaceable. It all comes with some negatives though and people need to decide what is most important to them.

    When people ask me if they should visit south africa, I say they should jump at the opportunity, its a phenomenal place. Could I live back in the mother land again, I am not so sure. This is for many reasons though, and not just because of the problems South Africa might have.

    I hope that helps

    1. A really nice balanced response Bruce. Enjoy your life in the US (I really like most of the Southern States)

  26. I agree that South Africa is still a beautiful country, and I still live a very good life here. I also agree that ex-pats who are overly critical are justiying their own decisions, and commenting on every south african article and blog says a lot about there they wish they could have stayed. I have been overseas and back numerous times, dealt with the grey skies, missed my family, travelled. Durban is one of the best cities in the world as a surfer. The climate is incredible, the people friendly, the lifestyle incomparable. Yet I am still on the fence. Because good people still die here for no reason other than we cannot control a criminal minority, and I don’t think my kids should live behind security gates. Because I am sick of our politics and the pointless racial bickering, the corruption and the free for all in a selfish, divided society. I don’t know what decision I will ultimately take, but I do know that I have a love hate relationship with one of the most beautiful, interesting, frustrating, fucked up places on the planet.

  27. I am a journalist for Finweek Magazine and have lived in South America only to return and commit to writing stories that tell “grass to grace” stories of South Africans that are changing the world by applying what is intrinsic to being South African- hard work. I have lived amoung those that have nothing better to discuss than the degredation of the economic and political system here but I would not be able to cast a blanket that puts all of those people under that banner and rather be one that points those tending towards the negative away from the naysayers and direct them towards the stories that change lives.

    1. Super cool when naysayers start seeing the light. Often though peeps who wanna hate just wanna hate and even hard core data does nothing to sway their opinions!

      Good luck doing all you do, and really hope we all see and hear a lot of the awesomeness that is out there in SA!

  28. This Blog is too cool. Thank you Susan for writing it and can’t wait to read future stuff.

    Ours is a remarkable country, and it’s so much better to love than hate. Get so bummed when peeps I know overseas moan. I’ve done my time abroad, but way happier to be home. Don’t get me wrong, loved the States, but couldn’t live there permanently. Mzansi fo sho!

  29. Hey there! I’ve been following your website for some
    time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Kingwood
    Tx! Just wanted to mention keep up the excellent work!

  30. Hello I am an expat South African living in Tasmania. I love what you have to say. I can completely indentify with it. I left SA when I was 21. I lived and travelled out of London for 9 years. I met my Aussie husband there and have now been living in Tassie for near 7 years and have 2 kids.
    I still miss SA. I still love it, even though I grew up in Jo’burg! I have a wonderful life here, great outdoors, lovely community, no crowds, no rush hour traffic. And a very safe life! But I still miss Africa there is something very passionate about it. And of course I miss my family!

  31. Im just wondering if Carol Myburgh knows in her backyard she has Aboriginies, who will disagree with her and so has the Kiwi’s, the Maori, but they have Bryce Lawrence and Pwaite on their side too :), Then there is America’s much neglected ‘Katrina hurricane’s poor, before and after and those in between. What double-standards with expats as I keep saying. You murder one person and yes, its a crime, so you’re a criminal, but when you murder thousands running into millions, you’re a hero making it safe for you on the surface. What a load of hogwash! What’s wrong with these people? Are you running to places who bully and other countries with military force and kill, and call our crime worse? Don’t give me the cr…p about tyrants, We know Hollywood exist!
    Carol Myburgh, for one, be quiet!!! Save your double-standards!

    1. LOL. The difference is that Australia, America etc. killed 99% of their indigenous people brutally, so now those indigenous people are such a minority they CAN’T be loud enough for it to be obvious how unjust it all was. Sho. History is written by the murderers, oops I mean ‘victors’, ne?

  32. Oh Carol Myburgh, another thing, the have and have not’s here….boils down to hard work. What your country, adopted or not is doing, is helping with its allies, to force poverty, much worse than we can ever imagine, including complete lack of hospital aid, on other countries. So get off your high horse!!!
    Google John Pilger (the Ozzie journalist with integrity) on these countries incl SA, then you’ll get your facts straight. No such thing as a Hero! That’s a title only for the comic books.

    1. Trisha you write this: “another thing, the have and have not’s here….boils down to hard work. ” -are you seriously suggesting the poverty stricken in SA are lazy?
      Clear up the confusion, there’s a good girl.

  33. Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika
    Maluphakanyisw’ uphondo lwayo,
    Yizwa imithandazo yethu,
    Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo.

    Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso,
    O fedise dintwa le matshwenyeho,
    O se boloke, O se boloke setjhaba sa heso,
    Setjhaba sa South Afrika – South Afrika.

    Uit die blou van onse hemel,
    Uit die diepte van ons see,
    Oor ons ewige gebergtes,
    Waar die kranse antwoord gee,

    Sounds the call to come together,
    And united we shall stand,
    Let us live and strive for freedom,
    In South Africa our land.

    Had to share this….where ever we go in this world, South Africa will always have our heart…Stand proud and fly your colors…#rainbownation…As South Africans say, “you must visit”

  34. Yesterday our electricity went out in the little village of Paulpietersberg Kwazulu Natal. Lightening struck an electric point. We braaied for breakfast, lunch and supper in the shade of Acacia trees for protection from the African Sun. In the distance a view of rolling hills and mountains with the sound of birds singing. Who needed electricity when we had all this glory of life to soak in. After a stunning sun set we tracked back into our house. With candles for light every where we relaxed into reading poetry for this was the mood of the day slow and nostalgic. Suddenly the ELECTRICITY came on and the holy time was over.
    There are those moments or days when your world is just as peaceful and happy. Those days when you just love life because our world is a beautiful place and we appreciate it no matter where in the world we are.

  35. I could be wrong but isn’t SA the only country in the world where you can be boiled to death in your bath or have your ears cut off in exchange for your cell phone?. I cannot imagine what it must be like to live with that sort of trauma.
    Good thing my connections back in SA keep me posted on the what is going on from a pritty level headed point of view. I must say that I have met all kinds of ex-pats who love to hurl insults from afar but dare not come in too close for fear of death. I have also seen guys who leave their SA to seek fortune in the face of undermining their children’s needs to stay with their friends back home…and then call it economic necessity. Now they have an as nice place to live and their kids should just shut up and adjust. I see this sort of thing even in Europe, where economic freedom is chased after to such a degree that the whole environment suffers…chasing the bucks so to speak. A lot of SA citizens are hell bent on greed and this makes their lives desperate whether they live in SA or not and or whether they can afford to have a house slave and exploit a garden (boy). So ja, SA is also full of desperate s, equal to the rest of the world. Just something I don’t miss about the place.,.because I see this excuse everywhere when people want to escape their present circumstances.

    1. Yes this kind of awful thing has happened.
      I am not sure how it relates to the topic at hand.
      What point are you making?

      There are some terrible things that do happen.
      But I am not going to discount living in SA because of this anymore than I am going discount living in the USA because of mass shootings.

  36. Well Adi at least someone is chasing something called ….work!!!

    Yeah the most dreadful crimes happen here, but then as I’ve just said, read the posts, the most dreadful crimes are happening in other countries, equally barbaric from the western ‘civilised’ world. Here its for a cell phone and there its for oil. Save your bitterness for what’s happening around the world and where millions are being killed and maimed including babies. We ‘re no better or worse than the rest of the world with crime, except we are aware of it, whilst others try to camouflage it. At least we don’t applaud it.
    .
    Some people call people who work, housekeepers and gardeners, haven’t you heard! Don’t insult those people. Its an honest day’s work done willingly all over the world.

    1. Hi Trisha…I did mention in my post that people all over the world are engrossed in all kinds of atrocities (not with these exact words)…perhaps this why you did not see what I wrote.

      There is a difference, though, between ‘work’ and chasing the bucks. Our guys in the Karoo have just proven that point when it comes to fracking the Karoo. They said NO to fracking because that does not involve ‘work’. Hope you can catch my drift on this one. :)

  37. I am an expat living in Australia and miss South Africa a great deal.
    I hear more whinging from resident South Africans than I do happy resident South Africans.
    What’s most important to me are my Aussie born children. I could never subject them to the lack of opportunity SA offers as opposed to Australia.
    I never feel more free than when in South Africa, but this could be due to the lawlessness.

    1. Nice bit of humour in your ending but also an exaggeration surely.Needless to say (but I am saying it anyway) I am glad my kids don’t speak with that awful Aussie accent – almost as bad as the Texan drawl or the grating sounds of a Dolly Parton.But these are trifling matters. There is much to praise about Australia ( but not their treatment of “unlawful” migrants; by contrast SA seems to have an almost open door policy). There is much that needs improving in SA but you
      need to be there to do it, only South Africans can. When the going gets tough, as they say, the
      tough get going – and do not run off to another country. But perhaps your circumstances were/are totally different. There are many valid reasons for leaving one’s home country but the leaving does leave some unanswered questions about doing the “right thing”, one’s obligations to one’s homeland and one’s responsibility to family. It is just that I would not choose Australia as a place of high moral integrity,. where aboriginals live in squalor and where Ayers Rock is the only blimp on an otherwise featureless landscape, Sydney notwithstanding. It is a beautiful city sure enough, but a man-made beauty for the most part. You can change society for the better but it is hard to make up for a landscape largely, flat and drab. Now New Zealand, that is something else. But give me the mountains of the Cape and the high Drakensberg… And a society that needs work ( and a new president).

  38. Just to throw in my two cents, I lived in Canada for a long time and returned to South Africa in 2002. I struggled to get work so decided to do a Post Graduate Certificate in Education and go teaching. That interestingly enough lead to a job in the government. Serendipity. I struggled to get anything good going in Canada but now that I’m back, everything has been going just great. I’m a white middle-aged male who is usually the last on the list for any kind of benefit, yet I am happy as a pig in youknowwhat with my life here. I was divorced in Canada and have been married to the most wonderful boeremeisie for five years now. I have a step daughter (also a teacher) who refuses to ever leave SA. All I can say is SA has been very good to me.

  39. Just stumbled onto your blog, you are so talented and have an obvious talent for saying what most people think but can’t express it…. keep talking (writing) , i for one, am listening ;)

  40. Trisha/ David…the relation of unspeakable crimes to the topic at hand should be quite clear, when the premise of the original article pertains to the carefree high life there is for the taking in the Cape Peninsula and other pockets of “resistance” to the relentless march of the ANC and Mr Mal(en)ema towards mainstream sub-Saharan African dictatorship models. “Mass Shootings” in a country of nearly 320 million are, although, curiously more frequent under the current “administration”, still very much the exception to the rule of daily life in the USA. Infants being unspeakably abused is never on the radar (outside of the atrocity of legal abortion) this appears to be a common, regular occurrence in the RSA, despite the ubiquitous and elaborate residential security systems that I found shocking on my return last year to visit family for the first time in 25 years…what happened to evening strolls along the Liesbeeck or in Kirstenbosch Gardens?!

    Regarding bitterness, I have absolutely none towards a country that is amongst the most scenic and hospitable on the planet, except towards the malcontents that have been put in office under ANC rule, who are, apparently hell-bent on bankrupting the country of its natural resources and standard of living in favour of personal enrichment via selling out what is not theirs, to the Chinese and other International “entrepreneurs” and holding uber thugs like Robert Mugabe in the highest esteem…

    I could not operate my business in SA at the level I do here and, consequently, my immediate family and I are very much in the right situation in Los Angeles. My business services many of the foremost names in the international music industry (which I will not be tasteless enough to catalogue here) who are decidedly not resident in the RSA…

    What I saw in Jhb and CT last year, after a 25 year absence was nothing short of alarming, to say the least…

    1. In fairness, you just posted a link about events that every South African knows about and you did not draw any conclusions. We were left no better off after your post. You have now explained yourself and I can now respect your opinion.

      The problem is whilst I concede that perceptions become fact in people’s minds I would rather look to the numbers.

      To take a few of your points bit by bit.
      a) For interest I walk around my neighbourhood at night. I also do nearly morning walks in summer. Maybe the muggers are asleep?
      I do concede that assaults at certain spots have gotten worse (Signal Hill, Trails etc.) Flip side is that the volume of people on these trails is huge compared to what they were 20 years ago. So more people plus more publicity (internet) equals different perceptions.

      b) Crime rates are not that much different to what they were 20 years ago. In fact slightly better. Overall crime was probably even worse in the late 80s but a lot of that was political violence.
      Still not good though.

      The fallacy that crime doesnt get reported is exactly that, a fallacy. There is no evidence that more crime is unreported these days.

      c) South Africans have become more security aware that is true.
      Te communities around where I live in Cape Town have taken action in the last few years. In some of the suburbs crime is down by 50%. One large suburb (Constantia) has even achieved 63%

      d) You link the unspeakable acts and the security systems as though the systems have failed to prevent the acts?
      The sad thing is that the victims of these crimes don’t have any security. Worse they dont have any home support.
      Due to economic circumstances the parents are often forced to trust their kids to friends and family and they are not properly cared for, Often the molestors are the people entrusted with the care of the child.

      Even numbers can distort things because the privileged get protected everywhere in the world (but moreso in SA)

      The vast majority of crime victims are poor people. That is no less sad of course.

      However practically that does have an influence on the probability of us being caught up in crime.
      I ignore anecdotes because some people have horror stories and some like me are unaffected. I take precautions.. cant deny that.

      1. Personally I’ve lived in SOCal before, and frankly I feel safer in my CT neighbourhood than in mist of L.A. No tall walls here, majority of people don’t bother parking their cars away at night, sleep with windows open, often forget to lock the door I’m so chilled etc.

        And it’s not only CT. When I lived in Mpumalanga it was pretty common not to lock doors at night- and no one did by day.

        There are areas in SA which are higher crime. I’ve done the ‘live behind 12 foot Joburg walls’ thing, which is personally not for me. Mind you, I feel pretty nervous, say, going about in Oakwood Venice- so I think it’s wrong to split the world into ‘SA/TheRest(andSafer)’

  41. I have lived in JHB my whole life and find it strange that people think that they have to live in Cape Town to be safe and happy. Don’t get me wrong Cape Town is beautiful, however we have great weather, big shopping centers, great venues, big homes with big pools and mostly the money is here. We work hard and p,ay hard and I personally have experienced no crime of any serious note and get on with my day driving my BMW and wearing my jewelry. Most of the other women I see are doing the same. We go to KZN to experience the Indian Ocean where one can swim and tan and generally have a great time. We feel perfectly safe on the beach and out and about. I think people imagine things. A friend of mine recently visited the Gold Coast in Australia and could not stop about how she left her bags on the beach and swam and no one stole them. Well, no one has ever stolen mine. When I asked her if she had had an incident she had not, why then would she imagine such a thing?

  42. Why is there even all this dialogue about leavers and stayers? Clearly there is resentment on both sides. The original article, right at the very top, smacks of self righteous justification by one very privileged individual. Wow, you probably sleep safely at night with your armed response whilst so many South Africans cant. My dear, you leave in a dream world with your maids and champagne (do you even get the irony of that blog post?). Oh well, have fun. Enjoy the beauty of South Africa, but my one question…. Just how many nights are you willing to sleep in that khayalitsha township? If its so cool, with so many wonderful people, why dont you sip your champagne there, with real South Africans? The ones who make up 99% of this beautiful land….

    1. And I suppose you, Andre, have spend endless nights in the townships and devote your life to helping the poor. It’s so easy to throw stones. Read the rest of the blog. I have spent time in Khayelitsha, actually, have you? And believe it or not, I WAS drinking champagne with a friend. And why do you think there is dialogue between leavers and stayers? Could it possibly be because people have strong feelings that they need to vent? Get off your high horse.

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