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Hi All

I came to the UK in 92. About 3 years ago I came to the realisation that it was the biggest mistake of my life.

I left due to the impending doom, violent crime, etc etc.
I left behind my parents (now deceased) and my brother and my close friends.

I have worked myself nearly to death here; i have no life. My health has deteriorated due to stress. My life is empty, soulless, meaningless. I detest the insular culture, hate the cold, hate my working environment.

Have no close friends here and life without friends and family is hell - i think that's what made me ill.

So here i am, a woman in my forties. In UK you dont exist in the job market after age 40. I have no idea what it's like in SA. I know the levels of violent crime, including torture, are absolutely hideous

All the time i am here i am worried sick about the safety of my brother and family - who have had several near misses (shots fired, etc)

In life, only 2 things matter: health and family. So here i sit in my empty house, year after year. I live only for my brief trips to SA.

I am ready to admit i made a mistake, but after all the tribulations i have been through, I cannot face any more upheaval. Cannot afford private healthcare, I have several chronic diseases that need to be managed and I have established 1 of my critical meds is not even available in SA.

I know there is no employment in SA and everyone out there has their own business. I dont have the capital nor the mindset to set up my own business.

What advice would you give me? No credit history in SA, lost my SA citizenship as i only found out after the fact that I was supposed to apply for permission to be dual. I also clearly recall what it is like to live in fear and sleep with a gun under my pillow and have near misses (i had several).

I'm in such a state of turmoil.
 

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Hi All

I came to the UK in 92. About 3 years ago I came to the realisation that it was the biggest mistake of my life.

I left due to the impending doom, violent crime, etc etc.
I left behind my parents (now deceased) and my brother and my close friends.

I have worked myself nearly to death here; i have no life. My health has deteriorated due to stress. My life is empty, soulless, meaningless. I detest the insular culture, hate the cold, hate my working environment.

Have no close friends here and life without friends and family is hell - i think that's what made me ill.

So here i am, a woman in my forties. In UK you dont exist in the job market after age 40. I have no idea what it's like in SA. I know the levels of violent crime, including torture, are absolutely hideous (censorbugbear)

All the time i am here i am worried sick about the safety of my brother and family - who have had several near misses (shots fired, etc)

In life, only 2 things matter: health and family. So here i sit in my empty house, year after year. I live only for my brief trips to SA.

I am ready to admit i made a mistake, but after all the tribulations i have been through, I cannot face any more upheaval. Cannot afford private healthcare, I have several chronic diseases that need to be managed and I have established 1 of my critical meds is not even available in SA.

I know there is no employment in SA and everyone out there has their own business. I dont have the capital nor the mindset to set up my own business.

What advice would you give me? No credit history in SA, lost my SA citizenship as i only found out after the fact that I was supposed to apply for permission to be dual. I also clearly recall what it is like to live in fear and sleep with a gun under my pillow and have near misses (i had several).

I'm in such a state of turmoil.
Hi, no-one can decide for you but I'm going to try and look at your post objectively firstly and then subjectively as to what I would do in similar circumstances.

Returning to SA:
Crime: although there are unacceptable levels of violent crime, it does not mean you are automatically going to get slaughtered/raped/tortured by going back to SA.
Yes, it does happen, and no, you cannot avoid it by just being careful, but in real terms its the fear of the Crime that is actually debilitating in SA.
so accept that if you go back, gun under the Pillow and bumps in the night are going to happen.
If thats going to keep you home at nights decide what that lifestyle is going to be like.

Medical: only you can know, but if you cannot afford medical aid, and you can get medical aid quotes before you get there, use your Familiys address and your UK email addy.
If you decide you are returning regardless, make sure you live within the catchment area for a teaching Uni Hospital, (Pretoria, the old HF Verweoerd is now the Steve Biko I think, excellent hospital)

Work: No Idea about 40 yo Females or what your qualifications are, but I do know that most of my 50 plus year old male friends seem to get unemployed at about that age, one last month after 28 years in the same company, bit difficult to say someones work was not up to scratch after 28 years?

Subjectively?
If I was unhappy at work I would start looking at what interests me, and start doing some part time courses in something that DOES interest me..
had a fascinating discussion one night when we played if you were leaving School now, knowing what you do, what would you most have enjoyed doing for the past 20/30/40/ years as a career.
Not one of us chose what we started off qualifying as and almost the entire dinner table would have been in totally different careers...

The other benefit is doing courses that interest you will make you meet other people who have an interest in the same type of thing and broaden your friendship base...

sit down with a bottle of wine and a pad and work out what you really would want to be doing, if your qualification work is still intensly interesting and qualifies you, look at other African Countries or places, my Cousin and his wife are both in their sixties, they are now teaching English in Bangkok, neither ever taught before, thay found their lives in SA boring, and are living frugally and having a ball in a new culture...two other friends decided to be missionaries and are now in the DRC, I thought they were nuts, they say they have less fear about Crime in the Congo than they had in Cresta, another friend is managing a group of Stores in Malawi and lots have gone to Dubai...
all of them are 50 plus,

my wife always wanted to finish her B Com, she just did at age 54,
in short, look at your life, look at what you can change, if people are insular, find ones who have the same interests as you, and if you cant, look at what you are doing that might be uninteresting, and change it.

Not an attack on you, but what I would do.
Hell, have done.
good luck with your thoughts:)
 

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Thank you so much for your thoughts. I have no qualifications, last 12 yrs as a civil servant in law eforcement and 18 yrs as a professional translator. Have always worked 2 jobs,be nice to only work 1. Cant see there being much call for Dutch to English translation in Sa? Have heard of people returning to SA only to end up living in squatter camps and that terrifies me.
 

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Thank you so much for your thoughts. I have no qualifications, last 12 yrs as a civil servant in law eforcement and 18 yrs as a professional translator. Have always worked 2 jobs,be nice to only work 1. Cant see there being much call for Dutch to English translation in Sa? Have heard of people returning to SA only to end up living in squatter camps and that terrifies me.
Unemployment is a major problem, without any qualifications, and especially those that are in short supply, it may be very difficult to find a job.


I have to be honest.
 

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Welcome to the forum Delarey, I hope you find some of the answers you’re looking for.
Hi All
I came to the UK in 92. About 3 years ago I came to the realisation that it was the biggest mistake of my life.

I left due to the impending doom, violent crime, etc etc.
I left behind my parents (now deceased) and my brother and my close friends.

I have worked myself nearly to death here; i have no life. My health has deteriorated due to stress. My life is empty, soulless, meaningless. I detest the insular culture, hate the cold, hate my working environment.

Have no close friends here and life without friends and family is hell - i think that's what made me ill.

So here i am, a woman in my forties. In UK you dont exist in the job market after age 40. I have no idea what it's like in SA. I know the levels of violent crime, including torture, are absolutely hideous (censorbugbear)
Crime:
There is violent crime, torture and other atrocities out there that are difficult to comprehend.
Some people have the misfortune of experiencing them but I still believe (broadly speaking) that the majority of the security conscious middle and upper classes go largely untouched by these things. The same majority do however experience some degree of crime in one way or another. (stolen phone, smashed car window gps gone, bicycles stolen from garden, possible mugging if you walk through the centre of town, vehicle theft etc etc)
This is also area dependent. (as it is anywhere) There are many of us who enjoy a reasonably content middle class lifestyle with compromises.
For instance, I not a huge fan of dark, cold Winters, therefore I settle for good weather and a reasonable standard of living in exchange for a growing hate for lawless minibus-taxi’s, a corrupt government and the ever present threat of crime. Some day the balance may tip and I’ll look at moving to the UK.

I know there is no employment in SA and everyone out there has their own business. I dont have the capital nor the mindset to set up my own business.
Full time employment is available for educated, (some have just a matric) hardworking people who can work under a Manager. It depends on your work experience, references and qualifications. (In my experience the former two are as important as the latter)
What does seem to be on the increase are people who have a corporate job and a business on the side. Often their partner will run the business while they work corporate.
It is true that as you get older in SA you’re a less desirable employment prospect. I don’t think the curve starts as early as your 40’s though. It seems to happen to people after they've past 50.
I cannot offer advice on your prospects since I am unfamiliar with both fields. Most law enforcement officers in SA appear to be PD. (Previously Disadvantaged) Pay from what I hear is not fantastic.
In my circle of acquaintances people who left law enforcement have gone into private business, examples being electrified fencing, private investigation etc etc


All the time i am here i am worried sick about the safety of my brother and family - who have had several near misses (shots fired, etc)

In life, only 2 things matter: health and family. So here i sit in my empty house, year after year. I live only for my brief trips to SA.

I am ready to admit i made a mistake, but after all the tribulations i have been through, I cannot face any more upheaval. Cannot afford private healthcare, I have several chronic diseases that need to be managed and I have established 1 of my critical meds is not even available in SA.
Private healthcare in SA is expensive. Basic reputable hospital and GP cover for our family of four is nearly R5K/month. DaxK made many valuable points in his post IMO, one of which was looking at settling in public healthcare catchment area.

Good luck.
 

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At the risk of sounding harsh. Without qualifications your job prospects on the open market will be very poor. As you indicate you have existing cronic ailments, this will affect your medical aid premiums and wait times before you can claim. At least in the UK the NHS will take care of you (sort of) and there is a safety net, should you not be able to work.

You seem very apprehensive of the situation in RSA and this attitude will make your living there much less enjoyable.
I am moving back, but I am keeping a backdoor open in case it does not work out in RSA. But I would think very carefully about moving back if I was in your situation (as much as you have described).
I understand about missing friends, family and the weather.
 

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Hi. I found a great site that puts to bed some of stuff that tends to twist peoples minds about South Africa. Google africacheck and look up all the articles they have on the situation in South Africa. They fact check common claims that people make about South Africa but aren’t necessarily based in reality. In the face of irrational fear it often helps to seek out rational objective information. I only say irrational fear because anyone sleeping with a gun under their pillow at night is not mentally in a very healthy place.
 

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Hi. I found a great site that puts to bed some of stuff that tends to twist peoples minds about South Africa. Google africacheck and look up all the articles they have on the situation in South Africa. They fact check common claims that people make about South Africa but aren’t necessarily based in reality. In the face of irrational fear it often helps to seek out rational objective information. I only say irrational fear because anyone sleeping with a gun under their pillow at night is not mentally in a very healthy place.
Larsonesque, I agree africacheck is worth using, I have done so frequently, they appear to be unbiased,which is great.
However,I can assure you that when the dogs start growling late at night, a fire arm in your hand is a very comforting presence.

It may well be an age related thinghie that has not carried through to the younger generation, but I can absolutely assure you that NOT having a firearm at night when things are seriously going bump in the night is an even worse place to be mentally!!:D:D:D
 

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Larsonesque, I agree africacheck is worth using, I have done so frequently, they appear to be unbiased,which is great.
However,I can assure you that when the dogs start growling late at night, a fire arm in your hand is a very comforting presence.

It may well be an age related thinghie that has not carried through to the younger generation, but I can absolutely assure you that NOT having a firearm at night when things are seriously going bump in the night is an even worse place to be mentally!!:D:D:D
Firstly each to their own. And while I know the following story is a freak incident and doesn't represent the entire experience of the scenario I still have to bring it up.

I don't know of anyone murdered in South Africa personally. But I did know someone who managed to kill himself through a horrific accidental incident involving him shooting himself to death via a gun under his pillow.

I don't think age has anything to do with it. I think perception is everything. And with the original posters comment I would strongly suggest that her perception of the dangers involved in moving back to South Africa are far out of sync with the objective realities. I think maybe if she looked into the facts and the actual chances of anything happening to her she might take the leap to where she claims to be happy with more comfort. But on the other hand she can continue being miserable and not come back on the extremely tiny chance that something awful will happen to her. Again all I can say is each to their own.
 

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Firstly each to their own. And while I know the following story is a freak incident and doesn't represent the entire experience of the scenario I still have to bring it up.

I don't know of anyone murdered in South Africa personally. But I did know someone who managed to kill himself through a horrific accidental incident involving him shooting himself to death via a gun under his pillow.

I don't think age has anything to do with it. I think perception is everything. And with the original posters comment I would strongly suggest that her perception of the dangers involved in moving back to South Africa are far out of sync with the objective realities. I think maybe if she looked into the facts and the actual chances of anything happening to her she might take the leap to where she claims to be happy with more comfort. But on the other hand she can continue being miserable and not come back on the extremely tiny chance that something awful will happen to her. Again all I can say is each to their own.
Larsonesque,without turning this into a fight
Guns dont kill people, negligence does, in exactly the same way that people get killed in far greater numbers in accidents by getting electrocuted, drowning, falling off ladders,exploding braais by starting fires with petrol etc annually.
To each his own, gun owner or anti-gun.

if you cannot accept that for myself and for mostly people of my generation, a fire arm close by is very comforting when it seems that someone is trying to break in, especially when its likely that they too would have a fire arm.
live with it and agree to disagree.

Secondly,I pointed out that fear based on actual occurrences is a major factor in SA, unfortunately, violent crime DOES happen, and saying that that you have a one percent chance of it happening or a three percent chance of it happening statistically means absolutely nothing to someone who, as the OP said, has been exposed to it either themselves or to their family/friends etc..
and quite honestly, is something people from my generation is very awrae of, and I am fully aware that when I was younger I took very foolish risks as I thought I was bullet proof.
In my case, old age and wisdom teaches me.

The OP has expressed real concerns, based on fact.
you are telling her she is totally safe as her fear is erroneous.
will you take responsibility for her well being?
 

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Sounds like you are seriously depressed, you need to make decisions and act upon it, even if it is just a resolution to spend a year in SA. Sadly, you are existing not living. I have a friend who at 83 decided to move back home after 50 years in the UK, she feared dying alone in her flat as her close friend did. I subscribed to a CT newspaper for three years and it put me at ease to know that violent crime is rare in the good CT suburbs. Besides, I'd rather be depressed in the sunshine with my friends and family around me.
 

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The OP has expressed real concerns, based on fact.
you are telling her she is totally safe as her fear is erroneous.
will you take responsibility for her well being?
The hard truth is that nobody is totally safe anywhere. To believe that is delusional. However to believe that one has a very good chance of being murdered in South Africa is neurotic and if you look into it objectively erroneous. I think a study into the facts such as the website I suggested proves that. I would strongly discourage anyone to make decisions about their life based on overbearing crippling fear when that fear doesn't stand up to statistical scrutiny.

Bad things happen in life. You could get run over walking to the park. That's not a good reason to lock yourself up inside in an agoraphobic panic and not enjoy the world. But then again we all have a different personal make up.

I am myself am not a risk big taker. I won't bungy jump or skydive although statistically I know these are perfectly safe past times. It's just an irrational neurosis about heights for me that I perceive these things to be risky. Others will feel I'm foolish and jump at the chance (excuse the pun) to do those things. On the other hand I hapilly without a second thought made the choice to move to Johannesburg and have absolutely no regrets. It's the least frightening thing in the world to me. I'm sure if there was something I really wanted somewhere that required me to tame my fear of heights I would rationalise it and overcome it. In fact I do that all the time with flying.
 

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I like what others have said and agree: assess your situation and if you do move, keep a "back door" open.

Immigration-wise, I assume you were born in SA and so you can always apply for an receive either PR or qualify for citizenship. You will, in short, have no difficulty coming into SA.

Recruitment-wise, the translators market is a global one and the sought-after translators get work no matter where they live. There is even a market for Afrikaans-Dutch translation.

It will be harder to get a job at a company, but you cannot depend on statistics.

My main advice to people in your situation is to plan a trip to South Africa where you specifically make sure (visit banks, go on interviews, meet people, make phone calls, ask around) about your chances.

Good luck!
 

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I'd like to chime in here . I think moving to SA to escape your challenges in the UK is a mistake. Starting over in any country is difficult - and let's be honest - this market sucks for unskilled labor. While you may long for old family and friends - those relationships may not be what they once were. You may find yourself trading your stressors in the UK for a new set out here.

My advice for moving here is the same as I'd advise for moving elsewhere. Get your money right first! Figure out how to make your move without a break in income. Crime is bad here but it's not like I'm dodging bullets on the way to drop my kid off at school. Just being here isn't going to solve your problems. You're going to have to look deep and hard at why you are so unhappy and how you are going to get out of that rut.

For us it took quitting our jobs , starting a consultancy and running a bunch of websites to provide additional income. We got control of our schedules and are now more productive while having more time to spare. It wasn't easy - but we got control of our lives . Instead of being the victim of the USA rat race .....
 
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