By Sue-Ann de Wet
Since the inception of AfriForum 15 years ago, close ties with South Africans abroad have been maintained. AfriForum created the Worldwide initiative with this goal in mind.
Nowadays, emigration is a harsh reality, and Worldwide keeps the conversation going. It is not easy to decide whether to emigrate or not, and the financial and emotional costs are certainly not small. Therefore, we want to equip people and ensure that emigrating is an informed decision based on reliable information.
AfriForum respects people’s individual choice to emigrate. We regard emigrants as our unofficial ambassadors who can still play an important role in supporting and promoting AfriForum’s objectives from abroad. This is why we maintain contact through Worldwide.
One thing is for sure – if South Africa’s political and security environment had been different, far fewer South Africans would have gone looking for greener pastures. In a recent poll conducted worldwide among its readers, 98% of respondents indicated that they were concerned about events in South Africa while 94% felt that their cultural identity was still important to them.
Our people abroad are our best ambassadors and must be helped to maintain their identity. They are our family and friends and we can’t afford to lose them. Some of the most prosperous countries in the world are those that also nurture their emigrants. Our government is alienating South African emigrants, as seen with the tax bill.
Worldwide in a nutshell: How you can benefit from it
1. Expert advice for expats
Free advice on citizenship matters, among others, is available through a local network of experts. Often South Africans unknowingly lose their citizenship when they accept citizenship abroad without first applying to preserve their South African citizenship, and sometimes they wilfully and knowingly renounce it. However, they do not always realise the consequences of this.
2. Keep in touch
Regular contact via the Spotlight newsletter, social media and a website is important. The website helps people to stay up to date with news events in South Africa. It is important that expats stay involved and up to date on matters in South Africa. Join the nearly 500 000 people reached by Worldwide’s social media platforms. Being part of a community with no borders remains invaluable.
3. One click and you are home with our World Guide
Adapting to a new country is a challenge. Worldwide is here to help. The best way to ensure that you are the best you can be in a new environment is by building a network. Networking is not only for people who want to do business with others; it’s also a valuable way to build a support base for those days when the longing becomes too much and everyone is just too far away.
Worldwide’s World Guide gather South African businesses from all over the world to create a community. Small businesses can enjoy Worldwide’s free service abroad and even list their businesses on the interactive guide. This way they become part of the amazing networking event!
4. Celebrate your culture
Worldwide supports events abroad. It is important to us that our people abroad can still meet informally and celebrate their culture. At these events, they hang out with their own people in their own language and get as nostalgic as communities abroad do.