Much like a headache, every so often, stories of emigration arise and circulate for short periods. Usually, these are prompted by news stories or political events. The question I always ask myself after reading these is, are they justified?
Business Tech, the popular online Business News website, has within the three weeks alone published two pieces around the wealthy leaving South Africa. This appears to coincide with the planned changes to the emigration tax rules and follows the Durban riots. Bongani Bingwa, the Host of 702 Breakfast, recently raised the same question, asking, “do you know someone who has left or is planning to go?”. Regardless of where the question is raised, the comments on this topic flow like water. The topic is unfortunately popular.
At first glance, it is hard to argue with the rationale given by many. The common complaints raised are BEE, lack of job opportunities, crime, crumbling infrastructure and lack of future for your kids. All of these things are common issues South Africa struggles with. Anyone with eyes can see these for themselves. Raise these issues online, and you’ll get the populist Africa nationalist to provide commentary such as “good riddance”, “I’ll help you pack your bags”, and “give us back the land”. This feeds into the narrative that all these reasons are justified. But are they?
Worldwide the diversity drum has got louder in the UK, where the white population numbers 85%, The BBC and Open University, two state-sponsored entities, routinely offer ‘ethic minorities’ vacancies. Oxford University routinely suffers from #rhodesmustfall protests despite the movement starting in Cape Town. In 2020 California raised Proposition 16 for public consideration. The Proposition aimed to implement affirmative action. In New Zealand, the native Maori party routinely calls for the country to be renamed “Aotearoa”. BEE in South Africa is advanced, but it would be a mistake to think that the fad is not spreading to other Western Nations.
The Verge, an online Newspaper, reported in July 2021 that rolling blackouts in California were now the norm. The reasons given were an ageing and unmaintained infrastructure. In August 2021, New Zealand suffered power outages nationwide, citing ‘grid demands’ as the rationale for its grid collapse. Worldwide, nation-states have not invested in critical infrastructure for decades, and the consequences are now being felt. Coupled with the Western Nations obsession with achieving Zero Net Emissions, it is hard to see how these problems are unlikely to become more severe with time.
In the United Kingdom, capital cities such as London and Glasgow routinely suffer daily stabbings and acid attacks. In 2019, the most recent stats declared, the UK suffered from 44,000 offences, of which 100 were for murders from stabbings in London alone. These trends are mirrored in other Western states. Often the reason for this is mass emigration which has seen foreign nationals coming from previous war-torn environments. It is important to remember that mass emigration doesn’t just bring the individual with it; it also brings their culture and social experiences. Often these do not align with those of their new adopted nation’s.
In the Western world, the notion of God in the classroom or personal life has long ceased to exist. Instead, the secular religion of critical theories has replaced existing culture. Children are routinely indoctrinated into the cult of critical race theory and gender ideology. It is not uncommon to find extreme leftwing Marxist teachers online who self-congratulate on getting their students to swear allegiance to the pride flag. The consequences of this are becoming too apparent in Western nations where government officials declare their pronouns on their email signatures and routinely adopt a legal policy that criminalizes anyone who speaks out against the new woke state-sponsored religion.
The upshot is, life on the other side is not without its challenges. This is not to say that all the reasons cited for leaving South Africa are not without their merit. Morning Shot routinely covers the problems that modern South Africa faces, so it would be a mistake to think that the purposes of this article are to whitewash these and ignore the facts of modern life in South Africa.
In my interactions, whenever I ask anyone who intends to leave the country, have you visited the state you intend to relocate to, the answer is mostly “no”. Therefore, I intend to point out that it would be a mistake to think that life abroad is simply a utopia because it is not. Many Western Nations are suffering the same issues South Africa are, but their infrastructure is newer. Therefore, the decay is occurring at a slower rate and is not as advanced. But it would be a mistake to think that decay is not occurring.
Being more critical of the emigration narrative, I notice that those who raise the issue are often incentivised. A closer inspection of the Business Tech articles reveals that they are often written by and sponsored by emigration lawyers who specialise in processing visa applications abroad. At other times, the commentators are financial service providers who specialise in offshoring investments. At other times the commentator is just aiming for relevancy given that no other topic gains commentary in South Africa like the question of emigration does.
My plea to you, dear reader is this, do not blindly hate your own country so much so that your answer is put, “I would rather live anywhere else that is just not South Africa”. Be careful allowing yourself to be manipulated by online narratives or those who have bought into them. Remember, some of these commenters raise these issues simply because they intend to profit off you. If you wish to leave South Africa and your reasons are justified, that is your right, and I wish you well. But don’t allow yourself to be manipulated unjustly. South Africa has its problems, but so does everywhere else.