From The "Home coming revolution" Newsletter
Foreigners living in South Africa are becoming commonplace. Skilled foreigners with a multitude of options open to them, those that could go anywhere in the world, are choosing to come here. Moving to a developing country has its challenges but expats are simultaneously afraid and in awe of this place. In a recent conversation with a Scottish contractor in Jo’burg, it became clear that expats often wonder if South Africans aware of what we have and why we’re so hellbent on highlighting our negatives. At any rate, they’re not only out here because of the cheap alcohol although if that were one of their country’s strongest points, don’t you think that the whole tourist world would know about it? Are we marketing our country to it’s strengths or are we helping everyone to see our negatives? Our best cheerleaders are now foreigners and our worst are South Africans - ironic! Read what a passionate German in South Africa has to say, although I think he would get irate with us for calling him anything other than ‘South African to the very core’:
Isn’t it amazing?
For days and weeks, the press has hammered us with a possible increase in terms of electricity and water of 60% - front page, almost every single day. Last week, Eskom received permission to only increase the rates by 13.5%, which as far as I am concerned, is very realistic – and I was very excited to find this information on page 5 or 6 of my daily newspaper…
‘We are ready to kill for our President’ – sounds to me very similar to a statement I make every now and then: ‘I kill myself laughing’ – does this mean, I put a gun to my head when I hear a good joke? Again, front page, radio, TV – outrage…..the fact that apparently Jacob Zuma has done the only correct thing and pulled ‘his friend’ aside, straight after this statement, to sort this out on a one on one basis, I found by chance on the Internet – wasn’t even worth publishing, was it?
‘Crime’s not that bad in South Africa: it’s worse’ was an article in the Sunday Times. Today, I received an invitation from the Institute for Security Studies, stating that the crime rate in SA went down by 20% since 2002/2003 – the article in the Sunday Times states that in the same time period, crime globally went up by 30%. Hello? South Africa’s crime rate going down by 20%, the rest of the world up by 30% - does anybody get the GOOD news in this? (and yes, we come from a very, very high level)
And, and, and: Economy down, Interest rate on 15.5% - so what? When my family and I got infected by the negative vibes around us and left South Africa in 2000, we were above 20%?!
Load shedding? I found a series of cartoons the other day (Madam & Eve) making jokes about the daily power cuts, and how unreliable Eskom was since they didn’t manage to cut the power every single day – the cartoon was published in 2002…
We will not be ready for the Soccer World Cup in 2010!? I just recently attended an information session about the status on it: All stadiums, besides one, are on schedule for the Confederations Cup in 2009, and the one delayed is behind by two weeks! The gentleman giving the presentation has been involved in Soccer World Cups since 1990, and told us that every other country that hosted it had far more problems, and that he has no doubt that we will be ready…nor do I….
Arnd Herrmann is MD of Uwin Iwin Incentives (www.uwiniwin.co.za). German-born and raised, he lived in South Africa from 1995 – 2000, only to join the brain drain, making a move back to Europe with his entire family. Visiting South Africa in 2004 ‘just for a holiday’, he not only felt like coming home, but realised all the things and people he had missed in our country. He then packed up his wife, two kids and two dogs and moved back again, and according to him, does not regret the decision ‘too often’…
Read more motivations from South Africans and foreigners in this month’s newsletter