“Do you feel threatened?” the newspaper advertisement asks alongside a series of pictures of the endangered blue crane, cheetah, rhino – and a white man.
Now the advertising campaign encouraging locals to invest in and move to the former Soviet republic of Georgia has been called bad taste by both the ANC and Afrikaner group AfriForum.
Global Georgia was started by CEO Frik van Staden a few years ago when the Georgian government approached local farmers to help transform their agricultural industry.
Global Georgia’s website taps further into white fear.
“Times are changing in South Africa – and not always for the better. Violent crime, corruption and restricted
economic opportunities all mean our quality of life is diminishing,” it says, offering permanent residency in exchange for an investment of R500 000.
The website also pegs the Eastern European country’s average winter temparatures at an unlikely 5°C and says the country’s educational standards are akin to those of the rest of the continent.
AfriForum’s deputy CEO Alana Bailey said: “It’s better if the advert said what Georgia offers – for example, less crime. Migration is a complex issue and it’s a reality of our time. The advert is definitely not in good taste.”
ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza said “right-thinking” South Africans would not take Global Georgia’s campaign seriously.
“From what you’re saying, it sounds like the advert has the DNA of the Klu Klux Klan.
“Its point of departure is racist. No white person is endangered in South Africa,” Khoza said.
Global Georgia’s spokesperson, Gerda Heyman, said: “Violence, corruption and crime are aspects every South African can relate to.”
Although nobody has yet moved to the country in which Soviet leader Josef Stalin was born, she did say they had received numerous calls from interested people.
“We don’t want people to relocate, but it has become difficult to start a business in South Africa or get a job,” she added.