10 things that I observed on this trip to South Africa

  1. All the birds still whistle that tune “Jan Piriviet” I know why they are taught it, it’s a simple easy to learn tune… but it still drives me crazy.
  2. There is still so much corruption in South Africa, its so deep rooted, And before everyone starts shouting about the huge corruption of the past… I agree, it was horrendous, but two wrongs never make a right. And somehow this corruption saddens me so much, because we all had such high hopes that the people who had suffered in the past would see the benefits … but that’s not true, it seems so many people are just looking for a free lunch, and they can’t see that their lack of responsible contribution is having a huge impact on a lovely country and its people.
  3. South African’s still win the salad war. At any braai (barbecue) you will always find the most amazing salads being served, and as a veggie, that delights me.
  4. I watched children playing in an hotel pool, black and white, and they were so unaware of the colour of each others skin, and I felt sad that I grew up not having that experience as a child. I am lucky as an adult that I have a mix of friends, in terms of colour, nationality and levels of madness.
  5. My big fear is the stories I have heard about the legal system, it seems to breaking down at the highest levels, and that is the one thing that I think a government should be doing well, it should protect its citizens and have safe and secure places to lock up its criminals. A funny (funny but mad) sign seen outside a police station in the Cape, this station is protected by Chubb Security. .. just imagine!
  6. Everyone I talk to in education is so frustrated, it’s not about unruly kids, but a lack of motivation and commitment from teachers, especially in rural schools and even at technical colleges that are trying to produce the valuable technicians of the future.
  7. It’s still a great place to spend time, the Natal North Coast beaches are still wild and so beautiful, the people you meet are open and welcoming.
  8. Prices have gone up so much, that I do worry and wonder how all the families make ends meet, a tourist may still think that food is cheaper, but as someone who is back often, the price of so many food items are comparable to the UK prices now. I think that’s why South Africans will continue to be creative cooks.
  9. The spirit of entrepreneurship is still alive, but draconian legislation is making it harder and harder for any small business to thrive, and that’s sad, as small business is the backbone of any free and thriving economies.
  10. I love the home-cooking shops (you may have gathered that I am a bit of a foodie), shops that are full of home cooked treats, like cakes and pies, the UK has made it impossible for these types of shops to exist as we have some very stupid health and safety regulations.
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About Helen Tonetti

Internet and Marketing fantatic. We help you develop and implement Social Media into your marketing activity. Done in stages we develop a clear strategy for you, build the accounts, add content and followers, before training your team to take over and manage the process. Marketing Director of Video Expression, we develop on-line marketing and sales video channels that get results.

Posted on April 27, 2012, in A mix of articles. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Hi Helen. Most South Africans do not need to be reminded of the items listed in your article. I emigrtaed to the UK in 1996 and returned to South Africa 4 years later, tail between my legs, but happy to be home. The good thing is that people continue to address the challenges you have listed. Are you aware of a website named SA The Good News. I love this site because they spend time education people locally and abroad about all the good things that are happening in the wonderful country. The link is http://www.sagoodnews.co.za/

  2. As a South African, I am constantly saddened by the corruption and ineptitude which surrounds us and drags us down. I worry about my childrens’ futures and even about my own. Yet there are bright sparkling pools of surprising positives when I look at the mixture of races with whom my children mix, and their thoughts and hopes. Even more so when I I intereact with representatives from some of the countried to our north, who are finding ways to beat the corruption and create new hope for this Africa.

  3. Most of the issues you raise are not uniquely South African. The world has become corrupted by human greed and selfishness and it would appear that giving power to democratically elected governments does nothing to limit that corruption.

    Revisit any country after a period of absence and you will notice many changes, some for the better, many not. “Home” is what you make it, wherever it is. Wherever you are, you can be a force for good, or not.

    Yes, we need a moral regeneration, yes, we need drastic improvement in education (and health care and municipal services). We will get them if people who care keep the lines of communication open, support the saints and expose the sinners. And yes, that applies in the so-called developed countries every bit as much as it does in the “emerging tigers”.

  4. Education, healthcare, corruption, entrepreneurial endeavour (jobs), independence of the judiciary & a free press. We all know these are our challenges. Not surprisingly, you could name any one of dozens of countries grappling with the same issues, to different extents, all over the globe.

    The simple truth is that the planet is in a bit of a mess & people have had enough. Perhaps more surprising is the bedrock of enthusiasm for the potential of South Africa. I find it inspiring, not debilitating.

    Not to diminish the extent of the problems we face, but I hear more positive conversations, and see more of a ‘can do’ attitude than much of what is portrayed in the media. Just following @WheresAndrew’s tweets as he traverses the planet reminds me that on the ground, there are remarkable stories seldom told (http://digitalnomad.nationalgeographic.com/).

    • Thanks Darren, and as mentioned just observations, these are always difficult as every country has its issues.

      I am a positive person who always believes that problems mean opportunities …

  5. Thanks for the wonderful website link to all things positive in SA

  6. Helen
    Thank you, what can one say? I only reccomend SA for the good things you have mentioned but caution and discourage all in my network from pursuing professional or business interests in South Africa for many reasons you mention and sadly 9 out of 10 on daily basis respond with “yes we have heard that about SA, sorry to say or sad isn’t it?”

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