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Why South Africans want to come home

Or rather, why one couple wants to come home. My brother and sister-in-law had a baby last year and though they love their life in Holland, they’re in South Africa for three months at the moment, trying to see if moving back home is a feasible idea. Why? Let’s see …

1. Why do you want to come back to South Africa?

“Because we’ve just had a baby, and it’s closer to a family network. It’s nice for a child to grow up outside — fresh air, bare feet, etc. And because we miss home, we feel like it’s an exciting time to be here. Who knows if we’ll move back forever, but for the next couple of years it seems like a good idea.”

2. Do you think it’s safe to raise a child here?

“In some ways, yes, because I think the education system is possibly better than in the UK (our delinquency for example), but it’s a big worry. Yes and no, it’s kind of safe. It’s worrying us but it’s not preventing us. It might not be as safe as some places in the world but I think when you grow up in this kind of environment you don’t really know anything better, it just becomes second nature to be careful.”

3. What about all the problems — the crime, the government, the economy? Isn’t it more stable overseas?

“Crime is tough, but I think you can live a safe lifestyle. The economy is screwed up everywhere and I think there’s more opportunity here than elsewhere. The government is interesting — the next general elections should give good guidance about what the future is going to be like. There are a lot of problems but it also gives a lot of opportunities — opportunities for helping other people and for new businesses. Now seems like the right time because it’s either going to be really great or it’s going to go pear-shaped. In 10 years time it might not be possible to move back.”

4. What did you miss most about South Africa while you were overseas?

“Family and friends — a large chunk of our friends are here, many of them moved back from the UK recently. And we missed the beach and Pronutro!”

5. What do you think you would miss most about Holland if you moved back?

“Culture — bands, art galleries, all that, stability and social benefits. We were given a nurse for a week after our baby was born to help us through the first few days, which was pretty great. Being able to cycle to town and being able to take the pram and go shopping.”

So there you have it — one couple’s view on returning to South Africa.