SA expats increasingly returning home despite country’s many struggles - report

The Sandton skyline. Picture: AP Photo/Themba Hadebe

The Sandton skyline. Picture: AP Photo/Themba Hadebe

Published Feb 23, 2024


Despite South Africa’s struggling economy and high crime rates, some expats who left the country in the mid-1990s are flocking back in droves.

This is according to a report in The Times, which said the expats preferred to contend with the country’s harsh conditions and be happy rather than continue to live abroad.

The London-based publication said the cost of living in Britain and in Europe, the wars in Ukraine and the Middle East had led many South African professionals abroad to reconsider living overseas.

South Africa, despite its many faults including load shedding, rampant corruption and crime, was being considered as a destination for the expats.

“South Africans living in the UK and Europe are becoming more miserable every day with wars on their doorstep, uncontrolled immigration and the increasing cost of living.

“At the end of the day, we all aspire to live a better life-style and will seek it out,” an agent of the Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in Cape Town was quoted as saying by The Times.

A video of a South African expat living in Ireland revealing his regrets about migrating overseas has also gone viral on social media recently.

“When you work abroad, it’s a privilege, but it’s not easy. You will have to leave your family and friends behind and start a new life. It’s not easy to make new friends in this place, especially when you are South African.

“Think twice before you leave home. Because when you come to another country, you will be treated worse than rubbish...Good luck. I know now how it feels,” he said.

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