If you think New Zealand is the best, think again
So, you have had enough of South Africa?
The Rand taking a dive, crime and corruption on the increase, and load shedding has caused you to head to that emigration seminar in search of Utopia of greener pastures they are promising overseas.
Before you make the important decision to emigrate, take a few moments to read on.
I have lived in New Zealand for 12 years. My wife and I emigrated with our eight-month-old daughter in 2000.
We relocated to South Africa in 2012 with our four children.
We did enjoy staying in New Zealand, even receiving its citizenship.
Relocating to homeland
However, as our children got older, we realised that we wanted to also give them the opportunity to grow up in the land of our birth, with our extended family and to share in the values and culture with which we were raised.
I admit that we have problems in South Africa, but is there a country that does not have problems? Even fully-developed countries have their fair share.
The first time my house got broken into was in New Zealand in 2004 and during the same year, I had my wallet and cell phone stolen from my office.
My teenage female cousins were viciously assaulted and mugged at a mall parking lot in Auckland.
Almost every year, there are tragic incidences of violent crime as well. Recently, some Dutch tourists were raped as they travelled the New Zealand country side.
Violent crime is on the increase so don’t believe that crime is restricted to only South Africa, as its present all over the world and especially in the countries that we South Africans tend to emigrate, including Australia, Britain, New Zealand and USA.
The media in these countries do not report much on these as it has an adverse effect on their tourism and immigration, required to keep their economies ticking over.
I write this on the backdrop to so many fellow South Africans being duped by governments of these countries, emigration agencies that paint a rosy life in these countries, but are not totally honest.
From my experience, I would like to present the other side to emigrating that you will not hear from agents (who are expensive), to enable you to make an informed choice.
If you do not have a job offer before you decide to emigrate, then my advice is to wait.
Do not believe the agent who says, “It is easy.”
Migrants generally have huge problems finding work in their specific fields.
Since your South African qualification is often not recognised, you will be required to undertake further studies to get your accreditation to be eligible for a work visa.
This also means incurring more costs. And don’t think that there is no xenophobia, racism, bigotry and discrimination. I, my family and friends have experienced this first hand. Even being told by certain employers that if we did not ‘toe the line,’ we would be fired, resulting in our work visa being terminated and subsequently being sent back to South Africa.
Certain migrant groups are bullied by the locals and often are seen as ‘soft targets’ and become victims of crime.
These countries have a high depression and mental disorder rate as a result of a number of factors. Limited finance and working long hours being a major reason as the cost of living is quite high, in some cases the cost of rent and accommodation is around 70-80% of your salary. The ability to save is also diminished as your disposal income is very minimum, which is why many work two to three jobs just to make ends meet resulting in less leisure time.
And then ask yourself, “Why do most young adult New Zealanders emigrate in search of better paying jobs to Australia? Why do Australians emigrate to Europe?”
In New Zealand, the media does not report much on suicides and statistically they have one of the highest rates of suicide in the world. Why would this be so if their ‘grass was so green’?
Then add to this the isolation, of being in a foreign country and missing your family, friends and old lifestyles. Psychologists say this is a major factor in psychological stress, as you lose your support networks which need to be built all over again when you emigrate.
The biggest cost I had to pay was that my mother passed away in South Africa and I was not able to be with her during her last years. This is something that needs consideration especially if you come from a closely knit family.
Before you decide to emigrate, do your homework and research the country by going on holiday and also doing the online checks on their news, weather, job prospects and requirements for you to get accredited.
Do not be driven by fear, but be clear why you want to emigrate. You and your family need to be in agreement. If you are undecided do not do it.
Be prepared to embrace change. Many have succeeded in emigrating but it takes patience.
Be prepared to go ‘backwards’ before you go forward in regards to your income, work, and standard of living.
If you do decide to emigrate, please do me a favour. Do not bad mouth South Africa.
Many expats thrive on doing this to justify why they left in the first place.
This is not cool!
Myan Subrayan is a writer, speaker and life coach to elite teams and businesses. He is seen here with former All Black Inga Tuigamala. His Website: www.myansubrayan.co.za You also can follow him on Facebook and Twitter
Photo: Auckland and Johannesburg: What is the difference?