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Starting a new life in Sth Africa - Expats

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1. Posted by gypsygirl6 (Budding Member 5 posts) 8y

gypsygirl6 has indicated that this thread is about South Africa

Hi All

We are leaving London UK , ( I have UK & Aust passport, my fiance is Sth African ) in approx late Feb 09 and after having a honeymoon in Sth Africa for a couple of months and seeing my parents in Australia, we are returning to Sth Africa to live.

Would like to know any inside ! stuff that you expats didnt know, but now know

Yes, I know Im cheeky by asking and not going through it, but hey.......just need a glance in the right direction

My partner will be self employed ( building, elec, plumb, mechanic ways), or working by co. And Im a bit stumped. I currently work in finance, but can do whatever it takes....

We are currently looking at Durban as a home base

Any suggestions at Whatever info would be so appreciated

Many thanks

GG

Live Love Laugh & Learn

2. Posted by bradco77 (Budding Member 17 posts) 8y

with the greatest respect, I think you are absolutely CRAZY to move to SA. I have left for New Zealand. Most of my friends have left. The rest are planning how to escape.

The place is falling apart. Crime is completely out of control. Rape is sooooooo common. Gang rapes......often, every day.......they have no mercy. Even a Springbok rugby players sister was gang raped last week. Murders......25000 per year. Hijackings. Living in TOTAL fear.

Please reconsider. I would hate you to be a victim too.

3. Posted by bradco77 (Budding Member 17 posts) 8y

sorry, just seem you have an Aus passport. Thousands of Safffers would kill for a Aus passport now to get out. They are going through long and very expensive immigration processes at the mo. And you moving to the crime capital of the world? Again, with great respect, I am amazed and astounded.

Please dont let people tell you things are OK. Those people have their heads in the sand. The reality is scary.

4. Posted by Overlandin (Budding Member 82 posts) 8y

Strong words from someone who has chosen to emigrate rather than stay and help make changes.....

I'm a New Zealander living in Cape Town for the last 3 years. I am guessing you will need a visa to stay - look at a life partner visa (replaced the old de facto visa). You will have to fill in the paperwork, supply proof that you guys have been together a while, marriage cert etc and pay the bucks to have it processed. I would recommend using a immigration agent rather than do it yourself especially for the first time. You pay for the privilege obviously but it saves a lot of hassle and standing around at the Home Office and they should be able to recommend the best visa for you long term.

There is a 2 year waiting list for permanent residency and until you receive your 'ID book' be prepared to supply a mountain of paperwork every time you need to arrange anything financial, open a bank account, cellphone contract, buy anything on finance - all is possible - it just takes a little bit of preparation first.

Good luck!

5. Posted by bradco77 (Budding Member 17 posts) 8y

Strong words, yes, but true!

Why must I stay and make changes? I owe those criminals who run the country nothing. They have inherited a magnificent country and are now raping and stealing all they can get their hands on.

My point, however, is that South Africa is an extremely dangerous place. I would hate anyone on this forum to be raped and murdered there. I feel some responsibilty to warn people. If you don't want the advice, that's cool, don't take it.

6. Posted by Overlandin (Budding Member 82 posts) 8y

Well the country certainly isn't going to improve if the perfect law abiding ones all leave is it? I have been coming and going from South Africa since 2001 and living here permanently since 2005. I do not know 1 person, OR 1 person who knows 1 person who has been raped or murdered. Maybe I am incredibly lucky??! There are much more dangerous places in the world than South Africa (and I've lived in some of those too).

I hear what you are saying but bottom line is, Gypsygirl6 is coming to Sth Africa with her South African 'soon to be husband' and I am sure she has heard the stories and watched the propaganda (sorry, news) channel once or twice. She is looking for insider info that might help her as a expat moving to foreign country - not something to give her parents more nightmares than neccesary. :)

You enjoy MY country while I enjoy yours. :)

7. Posted by bradco77 (Budding Member 17 posts) 8y

No worries. Loving NZ. you enjoy Zumababwe, sorry, I meant South Africa....

8. Posted by DontTread (Budding Member 5 posts) 8y

I lived in Hillcrest (about 30 mins from Durban) for a number of years, and have been back about 5 times over the past few years, most recently a few weeks ago, and I think providing you choose a nice area to live you hopefully wont have any problems.

Like anywhere in the world there are good and bad areas. The Upper Highway area comprising Kloof (best choice), Hillcrest, Forest Hills, Gillitts, and Winston Park (along with some smaller areas) are excellent places to settle and live, and Hillcrest in particular is seeing massive developement in housing and shopping centres which may give your partner the chance of a job using his trades.

Anything in or near Pinetown or Durban is worth staying away from (there are good areas but they are very expensive).

Id recommend Hillcrest or Kloof as your base, there are good links to the larger centres for work if needs be, and the area sees very little violent crime, though it does still occur.

Overall, living in a good area in Natal and being careful will be about as safe as a lot of places you wouldnt think twice of to live in or visit. The people are very friendly, climate is fantastic (Hillcrest/Kloof is good because you get the slightly cooler weather coming up Fields Hill, so dont have that styfling heat of Durban).

House prices in Hillcrest and Kloof are not too bad, for a decent 3 bed house in a simplex or complex (recommended) can be had from around £90k, less if you are willing to compromise on garden etc, and £100k will get you a nice place in Kloof. Cost of living has rissen over the past few years, but is still relatively cheap when comparing to the UK.

As far as negative comments go, take some of it onboard and be careful, but also accept that a lot of South Africans are very negative about the place. It's the same everywhere, how many people complain about prices etc in the UK, weather, cost of living, petrol, no space etc etc, it's easy to bad mouth a country and come out with stats and figures, truth is both countries have plus and minus points to them and you choose the lesser of two evils. The UK is safer, but some people in SA have this impression that the UK perfect, they dont read about the violent attacks and killings, the crime, the chavs etc, and quote SA crime figures that cover off the whole country, so crime in SA looks massive because the township crime is part of the figures.

End of the day it's 12 hours away, if you arent enjoying it at least you gave it a good go and had an adventure, and by sticking to the right areas you will hopefully have a good time, good luck with it all.

9. Posted by gypsygirl6 (Budding Member 5 posts) 8y

Thankyou very much for your responses

DontTread : You are a champion, this was exactly what I was looking for. Much appreciated

Overlandin : Thanks for this info, I have already subconciously prepared myself for all the paperwork drama's .....

We are planning to stay for approx 2-3 years ( depending on how everything goes, could be longer ! ) and then either go back to Australia, or what I really would like is to live in Indonesia or Philippines, but thats a way off at the mo.

You just have to live by your wits , gut instincts and not be afraid of leaving that Comfort Zone of life.

Again, many thanks

P.S Ive travelled on my own through Nth Africa, SEAsia, E Europe, China & a few months in Mongolia, but where do I get Mugged and robbed Twice.. Good 'Ol London

Its all relevant I think, crime and danger IS everywhere, just gotta be aware .... Im 48yo and planning of having many many years of travel and life ahead of me ;)

10. Posted by soupatrvlr (Respected Member 385 posts) 8y

Look its really not that bad. Yes there is crime, yes you will become a little immune, and yes, you'll be freaked out from time to time. But the bottom line is that you will be careful and learn how to live in a country that statistically has a great deal of crime. I've been travelling to South Africa quite regularly for the past 8 years. I lived there 7 years ago outside of Johannesburg with a squatter camp down the road. I have never been the victim of a crime. When I do visit, it is usually for a minimum of 3-4 weeks. My husband and I travel all over the country, but mainly around Johannesburg and through Kwazulu-Natal and we have always been fine. I will admit, that every time I go, I hear a new round of horror stories of what's been going on, but the majority of these are centered around Joburg, and not Durban. It always freaks me out. But what happens this year when we are in Joburg? Our house in Philly gets broken into!

We have friends from ZA that immigrated to the UK only to return back to ZA. They have been fine. They started out in Johannesburg, but due to the crime, they chose to raise their children down around Durban. They are in Chaka's Rock, a lovely area that we visited this past Feb. We were tempted to move their ourselves! You will find that many communities are enclosed within secure walls with gates and guards.

The country is a paradise and you will love living there. The people are warm and friendly, the food is divine, the bush is spectacular and being near durban, the game parks will be in your back yard. It will be totally worth the experience. Plus, your fiance should be able to guide you since its his country.

As for practical things? make sure you have all your doctor/dentist records when you go. you can take one vehicle back to ZA...or rather your fiance can. he just needs to prove that he left and is now coming back permanently. anything else? i don't know, let me know specifically what you need to know and I might be able to help. I have friends/family all over the country.

oh, and the only place my husband, a south african, has been robbed? philadephia! go figure!