Most  people will always strive to improve their current conditions. This includes leaving one’s current environment for a better one.  South Africans are no exception, and this need for an improved quality of life has for nearly two decades driven a massive surge in migration.

South Africans seem to favour the political, economic and social stability of countries like Australia, New Zealand, Canada and most of Europe. With the current political climate in South Africa, more and more of its citizens are preparing for the next 10 years by securing residency in these countries.


But what drives South African’s to give up on their country of birth and explore options for a better future as a migrant in a foreign country? Information gathered indicates that “Safety and Security” is the number one reason why South Africans want to make the move.

The Top 10 List in Order of Importance why people leave:

  1. Improved safety and security.
  2. Better future for children.
  3. No confidence in the future of the country of origin.
  4. Government’s affirmative action policy.
  5. Deterioration in social services.
  6. Decline in their quality of life.
  7. Decline in living standards.
  8. Higher earnings potential.
  9. Better Prospects for professionals.
  10. Lower taxation rates.

Load Shedding / Corrupt Government Officials / E-Tolls / Crime….. “its all too much” say many. Migrants are specifically concerned about their safety in South Africa and parents feels very unsure of their children’s safety.  Added to this more and more professionals are struggling to secure good career and income opportunities.

A bad situation is worsened by a break down in trust between citizens and the government as more and more corruption and mismanagement, such as the electricity crisis and looming water shortages, is uncovered.

With this being said, there are many of us who do not want to or are unable to leave our country of origin for whatever reason and with this, those left behind, are increasingly losing more and more family members or friends, leaving the country.

For the ones that stay behind the reactions to the news of someone we care for could include shock, disbelief, anger, sadness, envy, disgust, resentment and a sense of abandonment. Those left behind experience various emotions, ranging from emotional uncertainty to anger and distress. Emigration of a love one is mostly experienced as a vast loss, almost comparable to a “death,” bringing about significant changes in social networks and relationships.

How do we feel when someone we love, decides to immigrate?

Worried: that you will lose that person forever.

Unsettled: because a part of your life has left and you have to adjust accordingly. It takes time. Little things every day remind you of that person and you can’t always speak to them whenever you want to due to time differences.

Sad: (for selfish reasons.) It’s not like we can just go knocking when we need them or fancy a cuppa!

Resentful and Heartbroken: Why would they be leaving? Who is making them leave? How could he/she or they do this to me? What are we going to do? How are we going to adjust to this?

Denial: Often at the onset of such an announcement, the enormity and impact of such a decision by a family member or friend is too much for us to comprehend and we may find ourselves in a time of denial, trying to convince ourselves this will not be permanent, or waiting for our loved ones announcement that they will be returning.

Acceptance: Happy for our love one (s) and hopeful that he/she or they are going to find the life they want and deserve. Accepting, and have an understanding, that they wouldn’t make such a big decision if they didn’t want to go, or didn’t feel like it was right. Be supportive.


The acknowledgement and processing of our feelings as the ones who “stay behind” is essential, in order to ensure the continuance of the relationships and allow for the psychological adjustment of all parties involved.

It doesn’t matter what happened or who left, it is still your choice to forgive, and choose to be happy in life. Being aware of how you feel, acknowledging your pain, identifying your symptoms, and taking action is the greatest act of self-love you can give to yourself.

Give yourself compassion rather than judging yourself as weak. Take this transformation coaching process as an opportunity to build self-reliance and unconditional self-love. This process well help you rediscover yourself, help you stand on your own two feet again and accept yourself as an individual. In the end you’ll be more self-assured and emotionally stable.

Start today, by making a decision to be happy and heal your pain.

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