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What to Make of a Life in a Country Where I Was Born and Raised?

Devika enjoys sharing her work with a friendly community. Writing opens the mind. I live in a foreign country learned a foreign language .

It is different and looks ruined in so many ways. The streets are a mess and lack attention. Life in South Africa has changed and from where I see it, this shows me differences and indifferences.

Nineteen years living in Croatia encouraged a safer life and a lifestyle that I have adapted to over these years. Since living this life I feel South Africa has become what most citizens expected in the early nineties.

I had a two-month vacation and loved being back with my family. Reuniting again felt normal and an unexplained expression from my side of the vacation.

The rioting and looting left South Africa in ruins and with a lot of destruction. The roads have many potholes and are a distraction to drivers.

I am disappointed with the outcome after thirty years. There has been no attempt to make the country a safer place and a better place for the new generation.

In fact, South Africa has the highest unemployment in the world. I see just about everything about my birth country in a negative manner.

How safe is South Africa?

Right now, South Africa has a high level of rape and murder. Violence has escalated and the main tourist destinations are low with travellers. In townships, there are no proper electrical connections.

This leaves people with no electricity and those who have electricity have connected electricity illegally in their homes.

There is an increase in the homeless and other nationalities with higher paid salaries are paying electricity bills for the poor. Irrespective of what one says or does in this country, poor communities lack water and electricity.

The illegal connections of electricity are causing people to be electrocuted. For many reasons I felt unsafe and couldn't adjust to that lifestyle again.

An unsafe environment and I did not feel safe again.

The unrest of rioting and looting has caused damages worth billions of South African rands, and many people have died in these violent attacks.

It is an issue to come back to the country and pick up from where they had left off. Most returnees are not happy and do regret their return. The burnt remains of buildings, including shopping centres, give a poor impression to an outsider visiting South Africa.

I have seen more than two hundred shopping centres in ruins. In larger cities, the looting has caused damages up to two billion in South African rands. Shops are no longer available in townships, and this means people from there are shopping in areas that are not close to their vicinity.

Those unemployed are struggling to feed their families.

Most are trying to work odd jobs while others prefer a handout on the streets. The country has a population of over sixty million inhabitants compared to the forty-eight million when I left, which is a huge increase in 19 years.

My visit back to South Africa was most enjoyable. I enjoyed every day with my family, my mom, dad, and siblings.

Born and raised in a city, and it once was a crime-free Province. Looking back at everything in the past and the present, it is sad to see what has happened to a beautiful place.

Croatia has taught me a lot and seeing life from both sides of the world has shown differences that I understand. It is not easy to live in a country where crime is high and with constant fear.

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Doors and gates are locked and people are living this life for always. This is not what I am used to anymore.

As much as I loved spending time with my family, I felt a great relief to be back home in Croatia. Two months away from Croatia has changed the way I see my life in South Africa.

There is more poverty and unemployment which shows me that my move to Croatia is no regret.

I spent much of my time at home and enjoyed it. Though I wished I could have gone out often the timing for that was out of our hands.

I am glad to have gone back in the midst of the Coronavirus in this situation I educated myself about how South Africa is handling the pandemic. Their restrictions are the same as the rest of the world. I had a 72-hour PCR test before my travel to South Africa as they had requested and on my way back the same to enter Croatia.

At that time Croatia and South Africa were on the red list.

I am pleased to have had this experience and to have handled the situation according to protocols, and from both countries.

While in South Africa I managed to shop a bit and eat out when restaurants were operating from the 6th of September.

However, the tourism industry has suffered through lockdowns and restrictions. Millions of South African rands have been lost each month during restrictions and lockdown.

They are trying to get back tourists to visit the wildlife regions and in major cities. Life for the larger population has changed for the best while those who once had everything are now struggling to make a living in their hometowns.

I feel safer in Croatia.

Home is home and it is something I can’t let off in my mind or heart. I will always remember where my roots are and know that person I am and will always be that person. There is too much going on in South Africa that doesn’t make me feel safe.

Load shedding means no electricity for hours a day. Sometimes a whole day without electricity, also, for this reason, businesses are at a loss.

The economy is not good for many other reasons as well. Too much corruption and unresolved issues with former President Zuma.

I was happy to be there, but only for a short holiday.

Experience is not being able to make an application for a new South African passport was a disappointment to me. I stood in a queue in the early parts of the morning in the hope to get in line and having the paperwork done.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t unless I had bribed the staff to speed up the process. This was uncalled for and has become a way of life in trying to earn some extra cash.

I decided to not go ahead with the application and to continue visa applications for my next trip as required to visit Croatia.

The many changes have got me thinking about where will South Africa be in the next five to ten years?

Children of South Africa in need of a better future will leave the country in search of jobs and better living standards elsewhere. I noticed suburbs are neglected and litter on the sides of streets gives a bad impression of the place.

What do I miss most about South Africa?

  • I miss that lifestyle, though it has become unsafe in most parts of the Province, I still feel a part of me wants that more in my life.
  • What should tourists not do when travelling to South Africa?
  • Do not show off your valuable belongings when in and around public places.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of money in your wallet.
  • Use your card when on vacation.
  • It is less eye-catching to thieves.
  • Walk-in daylight and spend time in crowded streets rather than quiet streets.
  • Do not walk at night, especially if you are out for the night do not go astray.
  • If you're jogging do this in a group.
  • Always go out in brightly lit-up areas.
  • Ensure you know the correct address of the apartment you are staying at.
  • Do not ignore who is around you
  • Pay attention to the people you meet and remember to not mingle with strangers.
  • Most people try to be friendly but have something else up their sleeves.
  • Either they will help you if you meet someone hospitable, but you don't know who you are connecting with.
  • Tourists are targeted in most countries. In South Africa as well, and it depends where you visit.
  • You can visit as you planned and I am sure if you follow the necessary precautions you will enjoy yourselves.

South Africa is a beautiful country


Life in South Africa

10 Best Places to Visit in South Africa 2020 - Travel Africa

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Devika Primić


Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on October 19, 2021:

Mary Norton South Africa has everything one could ever want in life and so many opportunities. Unfortunately, South Africa is a bit corrupt politically., however, I do miss that lifestyle. There is nothing that SA doesn't have. I hope for a better future for the new generation and that something good happens for all in this time. Thank you

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on October 19, 2021:

Readmikenow South Africa is indeed beautiful and is going through a bad patch right now, I too hope for a brighter future there. Thank you

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on October 19, 2021:

John Hansen your feedback means a lot. I am glad you stopped thank you very much

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on October 13, 2021:

My husband and I loved South Africa, and one year, we spent a wonderful Christmas in Capetown. I thought, then, that it had everything. I will always treasure that experience and hope that the country will be a peaceful one again.

Readmikenow on October 13, 2021:

I enjoyed reading this article. SA does have some of the most beautiful nature areas in the world. It is a shame what has happened there. I hope for a brighter future for this country and its people.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on October 13, 2021:

Thank you for sharing the current state of South Africa, Devika. I suspected it wasn’t good but have heard very little about the situation recently. I am glad you got to spend time with your family, but also glad it made you appreciate Croatia more.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on October 13, 2021:

Linda Crampton I spent my time with my family thank you for sharing your opinions here. My family are important to me. This has changed the ways for one to live there.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on October 13, 2021:

MG Singh emge Thank you for comment.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on October 13, 2021:

Bill Holland Thank you for comment. I appreciate your time.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on October 13, 2021:

Pamela Oglesby Thank you very much for supporting me and I am glad you have stopped to read my hub. A lot has changed in SA and I do feel safer in Croatia.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on October 13, 2021:

Dora Weithers You make good points and it makes me feel more positive about the situation back there. Thank you

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on October 12, 2021:

I am so sorry that South Africa is experiencing the problems that you've described. I'm glad you were able to visit your relatives, though.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on October 12, 2021:

This is a nice article, I have been to SA where I have a few friends and even when I was there I could sense an undercurrent of violence. There some reason for it. Thank you for sharing.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 12, 2021:

A sad report for sure. I'm sorry to hear this about South Africa. Thank you for the firsthand report.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on October 12, 2021:

I am sorry to hear South Africa is in such bad shape, Devika. Maybe it is good that you live in Croatia where you feel safer.

I am glad you got to spend time with your family, as nothing replaces them. I think the pandemic has hurt so many countries. I found your article very interesting with important information about traveling to South Africa. Thank you for sharing all this information.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on October 12, 2021:

Devika, I heard someone say that home is not a place, it's a feeling. Sorry that your original home doesn't give you a satisfying feeling right now, but it can change again to feel like home again.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on October 12, 2021:

Sally Gulbrandsen Thank you for comment SA has become unsafe and I too fear for the safety of my famil there

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on October 12, 2021:

Hi Kalpana lyer Sout Africa is one of the modern countries in Africa. There many safety security companies and many homes have alarms installed. There aren't many places that are safe when one goes out for entertainment. SA has become unsafe since the 90s. Crime has increased and unemployment too. I feel it is unsafe for me and others due to the ignred crimes. Thank you

Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on October 12, 2021:

Like you I feel such a sadness about what has happened to South Africa. I miss my family there and fear for their safety. I am glad you were able to go back for a while to see yours.

Kalpana Iyer from India on October 12, 2021:

I never imagined South Africa to be such an unsafe place to live in! Your post enlightened me about what is truly happening in South Africa. I thought the place was modern with enough safety and security. Good tips at the end too. Thank you for sharing.

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