Wednesday, July 07, 2010

South Africans Returning From UK, and to What?

This article comes from but was found on the blogsite of our occasional visitor, Rooster. His comments on the piece can be found at the end. (Not a fan of emigrants is our feathered friend.)

Johannesburg - Many South Africans seeking a land of milk and honey in the UK are finding misery and Marmite instead.

While the majority of the estimated 250 000 to 500 000 South Africans in the UK are expected to stick it out, many are returning to SA amid weak employment prospects, alarm over the effects of staggering public cuts and tax increases.

The new coalition government has asked state departments to prepare for spending cuts of up to 40% over four years (although 25% is more likely) in an effort to tackle the country's budget deficit (11% of gross domestic product, compared to 9.9% in the US and 7.3% in SA), the highest in the European Union.

But an estimated 1.2 million people may lose their jobs over the next five years as a result.

Youth unemployment is already at its highest level in 17 years. One in five 18-year-old youths are not in education or jobs, and claim state welfare payments.

The effect of the government's austerity measures will be felt across all age and income groups.

According to estimates of the UK's Higher Education Careers Service, the jobless rate among graduates could reach 20% in the next five years (unemployment for highly skilled professionals in SA is 1.4%, according to a recent survey).

Even for those who get to keep their jobs, tough times are ahead.

While some state functions, like the employer of Anton Böhmer, a South African who works for the National Health Service, have been ring-fenced from cuts, he is facing a salary freeze for the foreseeable future.

"It is not getting better," says Böhmer, who plans to return to SA.

On top of that, tax changes will take their toll.

While the corporate tax rate has been cut, VAT will rise from 17.5% to 20%, the national insurance levy has been hiked and government has scaled back personal tax allowances and child tax credits. Capital gains tax has been increased to 28% for the higher income groups.

The budget cuts are expected to shrink the economy by 6% over the next three years, hurting an already faltering UK economic recovery and weak job market.

Rebecca Davis of the SA Business Club in London says members have particularly noticed a disillusionment with the labour situation among South Africans in the UK.

"At the SA Business Club we've observed over the past year a definite trend of reverse migration.

"Disenchantment with unemployment, or with poorer employment prospects than imagined, in combination with positive reports about the 2010 FIFA World Cup from South Africa and a feeling that it's generally a good place to live right now, are definitely motivating this move."

According to a recent Adcorp survey, about 39 000 South African job-seekers returned from foreign countries over the past year. This figure is expected to rise to 120 000 as foreign work contracts expire.

Mike Jackson, CEO of PPS, says his company - which offers financial services products to graduate professional - has seen trends among its members that indicate they are considering returning home.

"We have seen an increased interest from our overseas members to maintain and upgrade their benefits, which can be a good indicator that they intend returning to South Africa.

"Also encouraging is the fact that we have seen a noticeable decrease in the number of our members cancelling their policies due to emigration," says Jackson. "This suggests that many South African graduate professionals are not only more optimistic about the future in South Africa but are also seeing improved career prospects here as well."

But one SA-born investment banker in the City, London's financial centre, says the increase in capital gains tax is making some South Africans hesitant to sell up and move back to SA.

Many South Africans would kill for UK problems

He thinks the crisis will affect South Africans living outside London more. "London is a country on its own."

Also, many South Africans would kill for the UK's problems.

Schools remain free and healthcare too, says Adri Kotzé, a freelance writer and mother of two. State benefits remain lavish to South African eyes, with some unemployed couples able to fund overseas holidays for their families on "job-seeker" allowances and child benefits.

Kotzé plans to stay on in the UK.

"We arrived in the midst of the financial crisis – if we can survive that, we'll survive (Chancellor of the Exchequer) George (Osborne), the Axeman."

A thirty-something South African living in London, Maia Suhr, says she also plans to remain in the UK and – apart from VAT – the austerity measures won't affect her.

"The main reasons I won't go back to SA are security concerns and the fact that I can travel easily from here."

For those who are thinking of returning, there are a number of considerations.

The local labour market, particularly in financial services, may be tougher than they expect.

Some expats who fled the banking implosion in London during the financial crisis have struggled to find a job, Craig Thompson, SA director of international recruitment agency Michael Page, recently told

South African expatriates also need to ascertain whether their life and healthcare benefits are still applicable, says Jackson.

"Insurance cover can vary substantially between countries and it is important to bear in mind that switching providers typically involves waiting periods on new medical insurance, critical illness and disability policies as well as pre-existing condition exclusions, which may apply to some insurance policies and medical insurance.

"It is important for anyone who is considering returning home to engage with a qualified financial adviser, who will be familiar with all the challenges entailed with helping someone returning from overseas and how best to structure the various policies and benefits," says Jackson.



Says Rooster:

Traitors return home.

Looks like a bunch of asshole , traitor expats are running home with their tail between their legs. lol.

Just kidding , glad to have you back boys. Now that you have seen some of the awful realities of how terrible life is in Europe we hope you act less liking raging dickwads this time around and appreciate what you have here in mzansi.

8 Opinion(s):

Islandshark said...

You don't need a lot of grey matter to figure out the South of England and specifically London is very expensive, so the cost of living has always been greater than that of South Africa.

London has for years been in the top most expensive cities to live, so of course the downturn in the financial markets will hit London hard.

The govt can cut services by 50% and it will still result in better service provision from govt and local councils compared to SA.

Rooster aka the demented chicken sounds like the bunch at Homecoming Revolution - latches onto anything which could remotely be construed as negative about UK or any country where SA expats find themselves whilst turning a blind eye for the vast array of problems in SA.

At least three families in our circle of friends recently decided to stay in UK - like many SA expats their original goal was to live in UK for a few years and earn pounds to return to SA - budget cuts or not. Others haven't even bothered to keep South African citizenship after obtaining their British passports. Funny how you never hear about these people in the MSM "reports", but then it isn't called the Ministry of Lies for nothing.

I do realise the comparison might be difficult for the average chicken to comprehend, since my circle of friends is somewhat larger than the demented chicken's bunch of useful idiots - not many people want to be friends with asylum dwellers...

Anonymous said...

Where's Doberman?

The Rooster said...


Imagine being from a country and wanting bad things to happen to it ?


What fucking twats !

Anonymous said...

The definition of a 'twat' is someone who can't keep a coherent debate without resorting to name calling.

Trey Cruz said...

Rooster said:
Imagine being from a country and wanting bad things to happen to it ?

Rooster, ol' buddy, the country they were from had clean safe streets, functioning civil services, a military second to none, schools that were the equal of the best on the planet, nuclear weapons, some of the best hospitals and medical centers in the world and peace loving, forward looking, industrious, God fearing citizens.
That was South Africa.

Now we have Azania [or Zimbabwe South if you prefer]: Home of necklacing, toyi-toyi mobs, the vuvuzela, pinhead polygamist presidents, Julius Malema the black Nazi, endemic government corruption, the mummy of the "sainted" Mandela, AIDs, Cholera, farm genocide, home invasions and a host of other "African" blessings.
Not to mention the constant threat of "Uhuru".

The whites and intelligent blacks that have bailed out have nothing to return to: South Africa died long ago, and it's shambling zombified corpse, Azania, exists on borrowed time waiting to spin down the same toilet that took Rhodesia.
You can crow about it all you want to my big balled, little brained bird, cos when it happens and all the whites are either gone or murdered you will have to return to your traditional way of life: Living in a grass hut, pissing in your drinking water and trying to figure out how to generate enough electricity from cow shite to power your Chinese lap top.
There are few things worse than ingratitude.
Everything you and your melanin blessed brethren have of any value was given to you by the white man.
And you have given virtualy nothing in return.
African cuisine is lousy, African music sucks, African religion is ridiculous [sangomas; witchcraft; muti??? get real caveman!], African architecture? [I gotta stop, I'm laughing too hard]

The bottom line is that you are a bunch of dangerous, dishonest, lazy, time wasting parasites that didn't even make good slaves and just being rid of you will be a blessing for the white race and, really, more punishment than you deserve; but you have proven repeatedly that we cannot live together without haveing our children murdered, our women raped and our pockets constantly picked.
The time is coming...........

Anonymous said...

@Trey. You are provocative, but I gotta tell you; from time-to-time I love your stuff. You tell it like it is.

Anonymous said...

Why the quote from the child molesting "Monty" - we Germans cleaned up the floor with all you English speakers - it was the Russian beast who overwhelmed us ! Oh, good luck in your Communist Negro paradise ! Pip pip, Cherio.

Anonymous said...

And, BTW, you SA Boers didn't do a very impressive job of defending your country from a Communist takeover, promoted by England and the US - now you're being picked off like scared little rabbits.