Community speaks: “Inspiring” and many likes for Alan Knott-Craig’s optimism about SA

The topic of South Africa’s future is hot news right now with reports of more South Africans deciding that they have had enough and are going to look for greener pastures elsewhere, preferably where somebody can speak English. And it is not a White-only exodus, the Induku Consulting Group told News24 that Black emigrants now exceed the tally of Whites leaving the country. A friend recently asked me what I think, “Will Ramaphosa turn the country around? she asked. This morning I sent her the article that Alan Knott-Craig wrote for Biznews in which he gave many reasons to be optimistic about South Africa’s future. I generally answer this question by saying it depends on your perspective. It is like selling a house; once you decided to offload, the tiles falling off in the bathroom, the creaky plumbing, the grubs that took over the lawn and everything that you tolerated suddenly justifies you leaving it behind for a better one. Most of us justify what we have or what we intend to do. If you are planning to emigrate, you are probably more likely to say, “Good Riddance” and if you are planning to stay, you are more likely to display a bit of vasbyt. The Biznews Community, never shy of voicing their opinions also jumped in on Facebook and there were certainly more likes than anything else and the Knott-Craig article is increasingly being shared in the South African community. – Linda van Tilburg

By Thulasizwe Sithole

Alan Knott-Craig Jnr
Technology entrepreneur Alan Knott-Craig Jnr. Pictured in Johannesburg in late spring when the Jacarandas are in full bloom.

Alan Knott-Craig admitted that “vibes are pretty negative at the moment” and makes the point that South Africa is the only country in the world where we Saffas as we are called overseas, can be happy and he ruled out England, where he says “It’s illegal to burn wood.”

Janet Stead who lives in Scotland does not agree with this.

“I can burn wood here in Scotland, get wors from a SA shop, have a braai, see stars and what a quality of life it is here with good public transport.  Horses for courses.”

I would agree with her that you can now get wors or biltong from many South African shops in the UK, but due to EU rules you can no longer import any chocolates from South Africa. So, if it is Peppermint Crisp or real South African Smarties or Cadbury’s you are after, there is only one place to go and that is South Africa. The one thing you can definitely not do in the United Kingdom, is pop in to neighbours for a quick skinner. You get a ‘save the date’ months before and have to put a braai in your diary and I can’t even mention how they charcoal the meat. That is unless you find like-minded South Africans. It is lovely to find people you have a lot in common with, but it is probably a good idea to find local friends as well because who wants to live on a South African little island in the middle of a foreign country – sounds like a volkstaat to me.

One Facebooker mentioned the issue of loneliness. If you have small children, add to that the issue of raising your children without an aunt, grandmother or grandfather; unless you are able to take the extended family with you.

Johann Scheepers: “It can be very lonely residing in the USA, Australia or any other country. Think carefully before immigrating.”

There are a couple of Facebookers who don’t agree with the positive vibe that Knott-Craig is trying to instil in South Africans.

Johan Emmerson Grobler: “Superficial; This is not analysis.  Reminds me of debate competition for/against format. What one may find on good news SA or one of those websites.”

But the majority of the Biznews community were very positive about Knott-Craig’s article.

Cathy Safi Brondani: “Inspirational”

Ingrid Collett: “So true and inspiring.”

Stephan Schoeman: “Great piece, but there are 10 million people ( in truth many more) who are qualified and experienced who will simply ask; ‘So what? Want to be positive and make a real difference; find a workable and speedy solution for unemployment.”

Jean-Pierre Murray-Kline commented the following: “I’ll read this when I have time. Busy trying to work…might be a while.”

One thing that many emigrants probably don’t realise is that; Yes the Aussies are funny as well with their budgie-smugglers and the dry wit of the Brits is nice, but how are you going to explain, “Ja-Nee, lekker, vasbyt, aikona wena, bobotie and “I am so “gatvol”.