Making the most of a sometimes, not so bright, side.
Arguably, living in South Africa has as many pros as it has cons. With so much negativity in the media surrounding our country’s political problems, many of us are apprehensive about the idea of raising a family in South Africa.
With a high crime, poverty and unemployment rate it’s no wonder that many people are put off bringing up children here.
Last year, several surveys were taken where thousands of people were asked which countries they thought were best to raise children in.
South Africa featured in almost all of the 20 suggested countries and sometimes ranked amongst the top 10 places to start a family.
A look at the bright side
I often hear “wow, you are so naive” when someone speaks positively about living in South Africa. It seems the assumption is that those who are pro living here have never been affected by some of our country’s pitfalls (violence, job loss to name a few).
This is more than likely the case and it of course begs to consider a person’s circumstances as far as privilege and living situations are concerned.
But perhaps some of us are limited for choice and need to make the most of some of the opportunities that our country has to offer when raising children here, even though it might require a consistent amount of positivity and enthusiasm.
Factors to consider
According to a survey taken by 14 000 foreign expats, South Africa featured 11th in the 'availability of childcare and education' section. In the same survey, South Africa ranked 20th under the 'cost of childcare and education'. (41 countries were featured in this particular survey).
South Africa has a number of positive physical attributes. Vegetation, climate and other geographical factors make our country a great place to inspire young nomads and curiosity for outdoor exploration within the country.
You need only travel and hour away from any location to find new scenery. From ocean to forest to big cities, South Africa has a variety of different settings for young families to explore.
Despite being considered a third-world-country, South Africa's entertainment industry isn't lacking when it comes to finding fun and exciting things to do as a family. Our holiday resorts, shopping centres, and theme parks have some world-class entertainment facilities for families.
Our country is rich in country pride and team spirit when it comes to sports, bringing many families together for braais or live sports games.
Although our country's main attractions are focused around being out on the beach or conquering a mountain together, it also boasts some great family restaurants, theatres and cinemas for the winter months.
South Africa boasts some of the top Dr's dentists and specialists in the world. With the first heart transplant taking place in South Africa, medical professionals are inspired to excel and improve the lives of many South Africans.
Unfortunately many of these professionals aren't so available in state or government hospitals/clinics, and there is a massive shortage of skilled doctors in many of our rural areas.
But for those who are able to afford medical aid or specialist fees, you'll find some of the world's top surgeons and other medical professionals in our cities.
With eleven official languages and a diverse history South Africa is undoubtedly rich in cultural heritage. Despite the recent news headlines to do with racism and other prejudices, many of us have enjoyed our schooling careers with friends from across the rainbow nation.
It also gives the opportunity for children to learn some of the other indigenous languages of the country while learning more about the cultures and traditions of it's children.
What have you enjoyed the most about raising your children in South Africa?Send us your comment to firstname.lastname@example.org