For the past six years, AfriForum’s Worldwide campaign has been providing an online home for South Africans abroad.

Nowadays, emigration is a reality and Worldwide keeps the conversation going. Despite the challenges emigration presents, people emigrate for different reasons.

Here are five reasons why Worldwide is home to thousands of South African expats.

  1. Expert advice for expats

Free advice on citizenship issues is available through a network of experts. Often, South Africans unknowingly lose their citizenship when they accept citizenship abroad without first applying for the preservation of their South African citizenship, and sometimes they knowingly do away with it. They do not always realise what the subsequent consequences will be.

  1. How to stay in touch

Regular contact through a newsletter, social media and a website. The website helps people to keep abreast of news events in South Africa. It is crucial that expats remain involved and up to date with what is happening in South Africa. Come visit with the nearly 500 000 people reached by Worldwide’s Facebook page.

  1. Shop with our World Guide

Worldwide’s World Guide is one of its kind. You can do truly South African shopping right there where you live. Assistance with financing and emigration, Afrikaans lawyers, accountants and doctors, restaurants and more are available. More than 400 global directory and contact points have already been listed.

You don’t have to feel lonely in a foreign country; with this guide, you can meet other South Africans and support their businesses. Just imagine the relief if you could speak Afrikaans to your GP in Australia.

Marisa Haasbroek lives in the US and her Afrikaans business is listed. She created online courses on Afrikaans language learning and how to write in Afrikaans. “The privilege to keep working in Afrikaans makes me as happy as a child. My heart is still skipping a beat when I hear a voice out of Africa through my computer, pronouncing the r and g hard, using ‘nie’ twice and starting sentences with ‘ja-nee’.”

  1. Come visit in Afrikaans

Worldwide supports events abroad. This year, we are the principal sponsor of the Afrikaans is Lekker 2019 Tour in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. During August, Worldwide will be involved in a South African gathering in Houston, namely the Texas Potjie Festival. It is important to us that South Africans abroad can meet informally to celebrate their culture. At these gatherings, they just want to chat in their own language with their own people and become nostalgic, as communities do abroad.

Some of the most prosperous countries in the world, such as China and Germany, also nurture their emigrants. Our government often alienates South African emigrants with things like the tax bill.

Our people abroad are our family and friends, and we can’t afford to lose them. They also are our best ambassadors and should be helped to maintain their identity.

  1. Support from abroad

This year, as in the past, Worldwide once again have kept expats abreast of issues regarding the South African national election. Information on how to vote abroad, as well as what documents were needed to vote, were provided.

Of the 29 000 registered South African voters, 5 920 voted in London. In the US, South Africans even drove to Chicago for five hours to cast their vote.

One thing is for sure – if South Africa’s politics was different and the environment was safer, far fewer South Africans would have been looking for greener pastures. Every country must carry its cross, and things in South Africa is not always rose-coloured, but being part of a borderless community remains invaluable.

This post is also available in: Afrikaans

Sue-Ann de Wet
Sue-Ann de Wet
Sue-Ann de Wet is die bestuurder van Suid-Afrikaanse Diaspora, Wêreldwyd en Vriende van AfriForum by AfriForum.

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