A survey among Worldwide readers yielded the following:

  • In total, 35% indicated that they would only return to South Africa temporarily, for example for holidays.
  • About 24% indicated that they did not plan on returning. The same percentage indicated that they wanted to return to South Africa, while 17% indicated that they wished to return to South Africa, but that personal circumstances prevented them from doing so.

Financial matters, employment opportunities, the importing of goods and pets, and the evaluation of foreign qualifications remain obstacles to emigration, to name but a few.

Civil matters can also be obstacles. It may happen that South Africans gave up their citizenship without knowing it.

Are you financially stable to overcome short-term cons?

Emigration is without a doubt an expensive matter, even when you return to South Africa.

Have you also considered your pets’ futures? The first thing you should ask yourself is whether to leave them behind or take them along. If your animals have to endure the great move, you must ensure that you can afford it!

Medical schemes

A medical scheme will not only cost you a monthly premium, but also an added levy if you have not been a member of a South African medical scheme for more than a year. You must therefore be sure of a sufficient, sustainable income after your return to South Africa.

What do most South Africans miss?

  • Obviously, their loved ones. The reality is that grandparents now build and maintain relations with their grandchildren via Skype and social media.
  • Language, culture food.
  • Braai is part of the South African culture. In your new country, for example, you may not simply go for a braai at someone’s house. You have to make an appointment a few weeks in advance; that is, if you are lucky that someone invites you to their home. Meetings mostly take place in restaurants. Many friends do not even know what their friends’ homes look like.
  • Work ethics.
  • Quality bed linen and furniture, to new but a few.

Reasons for emigration

High crime levels are the greatest reason that people emigrate.

Other reasons include:

  • Limited employment opportunities.
  • The uncertain political climate in South Africa, for example expropriation of property.
  • Tax, poor municipal service delivery – everything plays a certain role.

South Africans are looking for security and stability.


More advice here:
Visit Worldwide’s website at www.wereldwyd.co.za. You can also subscribe to the Spotlight newsletter and remain abreast of migration affairs.

Send suggestions and requests to wereldwyd@afriforum.co.za.


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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