Thanks for that, Palesa. That kind of article is no good to someone like me without validation by a real resident of the area. I remember your frustration as you tried to convince all those people that Johannesburg was no more crime-ridden than any other large city. It was like they didn't want to believe you. We got us a stereotype, and we're a-gonna stick to it!
Firstly there is crime, this is not a crime free country but I do think that a lot of people are leaving South Africa because they cannot bear to have a black government. For the first time in our lives, shortly before his death, were talking about leaving because of the incoming president.
"Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies." [br]— Nelson Mandela
No k2 those without dual nationality do not have a lot of options, however many people have access to dual nationality if they don't have dual nationality already.
Palesa - it is all gonna be alright - Helen Zille will either form a coalition gov with COPE or outright merge with COPE - she's gunning for President for 2014 - have you not seen the Hilary Clinton hair?
Thank you for linking us up with that article Kerouac. Yes, we hear many stories of South Africans high-tailing it out of here only to come running back within a year or two. When you think the grass is greener on the other side and find out to your horror it is actually a whiter shade of pale, it is a culture shock not unlike that of landing up in a Calcutta street.
We in South Africa live in beauty whether it be in a lowly house or in a mansion. Your surroundings are what you ( and your neighbors) make of it. Those of us who are proud of our patch maintain it and enhance it. Those who could care less, live in filth and perpetuate it. The background of mountains and streams, rolling hills is still there. And so are the high walls, electric fencing and cameras, keeping the baddies at bey.
We are a spoilt bunch of people when it comes to lifestyle, and I think one of the reasons to eventually come home is lack of servants/help, and the high cost of employing one. When you are brought up from babyhood to have servants/nannies caring for your needs, it must be very difficult to try and cope with all the household chores you have never had to do. Sounds like we all have a butler or a footman..... Well, I'm being truthful when I say YES, we nearly all have someone that we pay to come and take care of the things we cannot do because of work constraints or other issues. Even my housemaid has her own 'housemaid' Well, you say, How come other nationalities can do it? Well, I say, I don't think they all cope very well. Maybe the house chores are not to be done to the high standard we South Africans expect, or, like the clothing problem of washing and ironing, gets neglected. Either one is a miracle worker and can manage or somethin's gotta give. To millions of families the running of a household is right at the very end of the list. Living life without fear is everything.
Honestly, I could never live in a foreign country at my age, or even afford it! Maybe I would have given it a go in my youth, but not now. I don't have to clean my house, I don't wash or iron, I don't garden. But I do cook! That's my way of showing my family I love them by having nice meals prepared when they come home. (But, I don't do dishes......my husband does if no housemaid is arriving in the morning. He is such a sweetie!).
And that is the way I see a few things wrong or right about South Africans that embark on a journey (supposedly of no return) to a foreign country.
Thanks for your honesty, tod. I kind of thought that is how it was but you have explained it well. It's what you have been and are used to. Who are we to judge?
To me, who has never had a cleaner, let alone a butler (that made me giggle) It seems like another world. In all honesty I would feel uncomfortable about having someone come in and clean my house for me! Although I can tell my family members to do just fine.
My dad was born in about the same circumstances as you. He came from a very wealthy family who lived in Hong Kong. There he and his siblings were born and raised. He was brought up by nannies, had housekeepers, and private tutors. The war changed many things and fortunes were lost. It would make an interesting book for sure.
Nycboy - Are you asking about a minimum wage written into our government laws? If so, Yes there is. But, "off-the-books" workers like my maid for instance, I think must come to an agreement with whoever is employing them. When someone is "on-the-books" the employer is bound by law to register the worker and pay in a levy which covers them for un-employment should they get sick and loose their job because the employer goes bust and closes down. It does not cover them if they get the sack.....which is rare because in South Africa you cannot fire someone unless they have absconded, stolen from you and I guess a few other things which I'm not familiar with. You cannot fire someone turning up drunk all the time. You have to send them for rehabilitation but keep employing them. Because of this law, employers like myself only employ on contract. That is for a certain number of months or year to year. This makes it easier to get rid of a bad egg.
Going back to my maid situation. She used to be registered but when she turned 60 and became eligible for a old age pension, I took her off the books so she could claim. If you work you cannot get the pension. If you have a property or money in the bank over a certain amount, you cannot claim. So now she scores big time as we are happily fleecing the government and earning at the same time. It's fraud but we want to get as much back from this rotten stinking lot who are doing the same thing with our taxes and lining their own pockets.
Yes, I was curious how it compares to the states. From my observation here in NY, you have an influx of immigrants from Central and South America and, despite having minimum wage laws that apply to both legal and illegal workers, there are many businesses taking advantage, particularly restaurants. Stories of workers getting pack $3.25 an hour (less than half of min wage) without paid o/t are rampant. Unfortunately these workers are often too scared to do anything about it.
While we were in Namibia we spoke with a lovely woman who worked at a petrol station/restaurant about minimum wage, she said it probably wouldn't change her situation as more than likely the public wouldn't know about it and they'd be powerless to enforce it. The asshole owners had taken advantage of her in other ways too, they held her accountable when someone stole gas, making her work for free to cover it.
That's a bad situation for the gas attendant and sad that she has to endure a Big Shit for a boss. I don't think there are too many situations like that in this country. I could be wrong of course . Namibian laws are very different to ours. I doubt whether they have a very strict employment conditions like we do. There is one strange belief people talk about when it comes to treating your employees with kindness . It is that if you show kindness or humanity you are looked upon as weak. I think it stems from the old Afrikaaners who ruled with an iron fist and of course treated everyone with contempt. (That's if you were English or black skinned).
That poor attendant said Big Shit would not share the same silverware despite allowing her to prepare food for the family. She also made her ride in the third row of their car, even if it was just the two of them. Much of what we described sounded like it was pulled form The Help. Unfortunate but we did meet many good people in Namibia who were dedicated to making things better.
Post by cheerypeabrain on Jul 10, 2014 15:09:10 GMT
My Granddaughter has recently returned from a 4 month stay in South Africa, living in the Atlantis district of capetown with a local family and working as a volunteer teacher in a centre for people with learning difficulties. Victoria has nothing but good things to say of the people she met. Some things she found traumatic, she witnessed some violence on the street but was escorted all the time so she felt quite safe. On one occasion when visiting a local store she spoke to some chaps hanging out around the dorrway who turned out to be from a 'notorious' gang, they asked what she was doing in S.A. and when she told them they were very supportive...altho one said that if she had 'any trouble' that he would 'sort it out'....
However...she also said that aside from the cultural differences she could have been at home in Leicester. It made a deep impression on her and she is saving up to go back to visit the family she stayed with.
I loved Cape Town, but in retrospect I probably took certain risks that I shouldn't have. Of course, I paid the price when I returned to Johannesburg. And that is in fact why I have no photos of Cape Town, because I was relieved of my camera containing the photos during the mugging. (But all of the other rolls of film made it home with me, which was probably a miracle!)
Coincidentally, after a plane change on the way home from France, the last person to sit next to me was traveling with her 17 year old daughter to Cape Town where they would do mission work with a church group improving housing.