Jan 16

S.Africans in UK: ‘Brexit wouldn’t be our motivation for returning’

South Africans living in the United Kingdom have said Brexit wouldn’t be a reason for them to return home.

Homecoming Revolution surveyed several South Africans living in the United Kingdom to find out how they anticipate Brexit will impact the lives of immigrants living in the UK.

The UK leaves the EU on 31 January, 47 years after it joined the then European Economic Community in 1973, which has raised a number of questions for employers and employees alike.

Majority of respondents, approximately 70%, said they did not suspect the move to have any impact on their futures or job stability.

Nerina W said while she doesn’t view Brexit as a reason to leave, she foresees that a possible decline will make it less attractive to stay in the UK.

“Brexit hasn’t done anything tangible or lasting yet as it hasn’t happened yet, so hard to speculate.”

Rose G agreed, saying while Brexit is a worry, it wouldn’t be her motivation for returning.

“Finding decent work in the UK is much harder in SA and we just don’t fit in. We don’t have children or claim benefits and can say with certainty we had a far better quality of life in South Africa even with the crime and load shedding. That would be our motivation for returning.”

Rihzia V echoed these sentiments, saying the pull to go home should be greater than Brexit.

“Otherwise you might find yourself back in South Africa looking at things wrong with it and wondering if you should return to the UK. There are many valid reasons to return, Brexit is not one of them.”

However, 30% of respondents expressed concern about Brexit.

Andy H said, “Brexit is causing so much uncertainty in the job market, especially for foreigners”.

Susan R said, “It was much easier years ago to do the jump to the UK. People entering now are seriously finding it difficult to find work and looked upon as immigrants. The new vibe is that South Africans are looked upon as just another foreigner looking to take work away from locals.”