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Tanya
 
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Australia: My future

30 December 2010, 13:25  - Tanya
When I read articles about ex South African's living abroad it's usually from white people. So here is a view of a coloured South African living in Australia.

My family left South Africa just over two years ago, so my view on my new country is fresh.

We left for much of the same reasons a lot of other South African's leave, better future for our kids, safer environment etc, not going to harp on any of that, because all the readers have read it over and over again.

The people in Australia are very friendly; when you go shopping or go into the bank all the staff members are polite and friendly. The benefits for people living here are great; you get a baby bonus from the government when you have a baby. The government gave families a Christmas bonus for each child in the family the one year.

You get medical benefits and the state hospitals are as great as the private hospitals in South Africa, well that is the way it is in Melbourne anyway.

My oldest daughter battled with the move and she was late in her teens and she has been in therapy sessions since February this year and I haven't paid one cent. My daughter goes to university next year and she gets support from the government to pay for her fees, and she only has to pay back when she starts working.

There is crime here, but it's not as bad or violent as back in South Africa, you can walk the streets at night and take public transport. I ride my bike in the city and it was great. You know never having to lock security doors and have millions of locks on your door, activate alarms, look over my shoulder every time I drive, to see that no one is following me, or before going into my driveway.

At night when I drive not stopping at a traffic light or stop sign as its too dangerous, having to keep a safe following distance from the car in front of you just in case someone is going to smash your window so you have enough space to get out has been such a huge stress relieve. One gets so used to living like that, that when you don't do it anymore you realise how less stressed you actually are. It was strange buying our first car here and the car doors didn't automatically lock when you took off.

I have met quite a few black South Africans living here as well and their reasons were pretty much the same as everyone else, so I don't think the people who leave South Africa are leaving for racial reasons, but rather for a brighter, better future.

Yes, I hope and pray that SA maybe that place one day, but it will never happen in my lifetime or my kids'. Most of the friends I have made here are ex-South Africans.

I miss South Africa, only because I still have a lot of my family there. Immigrating is not for the weak, as its one of the most stressful things you ever going to do.

In South Africa I had a huge home with a pool, almost paid for, drove fancy cars, and had a top management position. I sold everything and gave it all up for my new future and the money I brought over had to be divided by seven so it was hard, but when I look back the struggle was worth it.

South Africa will always be my birth place and I will never give up my South African Citizenship, but Australia is my new future.

- Are you a South African living abroad interested in sharing your views? What is it like for a South African living in a foreign country or how do you view South Africa from a distance? Send us your columns to feedback@news24.com and you might get published in our new Beyond Borders section.

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Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

 

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