We have Launched a New Product: The Power of Difference

DiversityIn my experience, I have managed multiple mobility programmes from a local, regional and global perspective as a service provider to large multi-national organisations. In every case, the decisions taken affect people and can directly influence the success of the business.

For this reason, Relocation Africa has designed in partnership with Contract SA a program which we believe will facilitate the commitment from the business towards the assignee/staff member who’s life is just about to be challenged and changed.  This program will give the assignee some invaluable tools on how to cope, manage and implement strategies to best utilise “The Power of Difference” that they hold to best benefit them as an individual and for the business.

In our 22 years of experience as a Global Mobility Specialist we have seen many pitfalls of relocating staff that were not equipped to handle the assignments successfully.  In identifying this we have carefully reviewed what we as a business could do to facilitate the success and experience of the assignee and the bottom line for business.

Often we get approached by business’s to facilitate a cross-cultural skills programs which generally focuses on culture, or the values and behaviours learned and shared by a particular group, (whether across countries, regions, industries, ethnic origins, organisations etc) – their “Cultural Profile”, learning about a countries, history, values, and cultural “assumptions” (like how Japanese workers are less direct than Germans) or differences in values (like how Americans have more individualistic values than those in China).  It may have even focused on differences in etiquette – like how in the US you can write on the back of a business card, but in Japan, that would be a taboo. 

Knowing the difference can be quiet useful.  It can give you a sense of how you’re supposed to act in a foreign setting, especially when you have no idea where to start. It can also help you understand why others from a different culture behave as they do. But in my experience, the mistake many companies make is thinking that knowing cultural differences is enough — that discovering the key differences is all you need to master to be effective across cultures.

If the problem your employees face is that they simply don’t understand cultural differences, a solution focused on defining cultural differences makes all the sense in the world. But if, like in most instances, the real problem is that your employees can’t adapt and integrate their behaviour across cultures, these solutions focused simply on differences likely won’t give you the bang for your buck that you’re expecting.

Most employees are sent on assignment due to their Technical competence and as HR practitioners you know that this is certainly not going to make for a successful assignment as only 18% of their skill required to make a successful assignment is their technical ability.  Adaptation makes up 16%  and 66% is the  ability to integrate that makes a SUCCESSFUL ASSIGNMENT.  

The Power of Differnce Workshop/Introduction to Diversity, participants get introduced to the fundamentals of diversity management, learn and practice intercultural skills, and how to deal with differences constructively.

The power of my Host Nation

This part provides information on the country and city the expat is moving to. This includes history, geography, language, tourism attractions, cuisine, communication, transport, education, medical facilities, social and business norms, safety and security and practical contact information. Candidates will receive a visual presentation of expat-popular residential areas and housing options including rental and cost of living information.

Being powerful in my host nation

Here we deal with culture shock and tapping into personal power. Candidates get to understand the dynamics of culture shock, and identify it as a means of positive personal growth. An effective tool that shows candidates how to tap into the power of difference completes the three parts of the day.

Interactive and experiential methods make this an engaging and effective workshop that sets candidates up for success; and an action plan equips them with steps for a powerful assignment.

This workshop can be tailored to suit individual / team/ family needs.  Please contact us for pricing on tailored options – info@relocationafrica.com

Angola: A relief in sight for expatriates accommodation cost?


Angola Housing

Written by: Jacob Kuh

One could hardly anticipate that after twenty seven years of civil war, Angola will become an expatriate destination immediately after the end of the war. The civil war shattered the country’s administration, economy and infrastructures. The country did not have some basic services and needs when the war ended in 2002. The lack of such services and needs did not deter expatriates to consider Angola as a destination.


The civil war prevented an entire generation from accessing education. At the end of the war, the country needed to be rebuild but locally, the man power was lacking. It is possibly why the country turned to man power importation. As such, the needed skills could be sourced outside the country to build the country’s economy that revolves around the exploitation of minerals such as oil and diamond.


The importation of man power came with the need for adequate accommodation for expatriates. Considering the consequences of the long civil war, Angola did not have enough “expatriate type accommodations” to satisfy expatriates’ accommodation needs. The soaring number of expatriates increased the demand for accommodation and rental prices sky rocketed.


In 2012, 5% increase for rental prices for the year 2013 was predicted. The increase was not only due to expatriates presence, but also to the “Angolans nouveaux riches” who sought expatriate type accommodations. The renting of up market properties by local could definitely mean a continuous increase for the coming years as the demand may keep increasing.


However, in 2014, a decreased was observed in the property market in Angola. Expatriate type accommodation price seems to divert from the increase curb as the 2012 data may have signalled. During 2014, 2% decrease in rental prices was registered and it is anticipated that there will be 2.5% decrease in rental prices in 2015. The construction of new properties is responsible for the decrease in rental prices.


The current decrease does not seem to be having an impact on expatriates housing budget. Indeed 2% of USD 20000 the price of some properties in Angola is just USD 400 and this may explain why Angola still remain the most expensive destination in Africa in general and rental accommodation in particular. Nevertheless, if we continue to have more properties coming in the rental market, rental prices may continue to shrink and this may be some relief for expatriates.

For more information on accommodation costs in Angola or other parts of Africa please contact Andrew@relocationafrica.co.za or Jacob@relocationafrica.co.za

What this clip below to get a sense of the development in Angola.


Change to the Online Appointment Scheduling process for Via & Permit Applications for South Africa

As of Wednesday 26th August 2015 the Online Appointment Scheduling process is transitioning to a new pre-payment system.

See attached for more information. Change to the online appointment scheduling process for Visa and Permit Applications

For more information or assistance with South African Immigration contact tracy@relocationafrica.co.za

From the Horse’s Mouth – Namibia

If you are planning on moving to Namibia, we may be able to assist. Feel free to contact us via info@relocationafrica.com or on 2721 763 4240, or visit our website here for more information.


Contributions by Mirinda Subes
Facts you did not know about Namibia (Namibia, a country in southwest Africa, is distinguished by the Namib desert along the Atlantic Ocean coast. The country is home to diverse wildlife, including a significant cheetah population. The capital is Windhoek.)


1. How are birthdays celebrated?
Birthdays are celebrated well. People bake or buy cake, soft drinks and beer and prepare food and celebrate with family and friends.

2. When you first meet someone, how do you greet them?
With a smile and then a handshake or with a handshake and a kiss on both cheeks.

3. What languages are spoken in your country?
Afrikaans, English, Herero, Oshiwambo, Nama/Damara, Rukwangali, Tswana, German, Khoe Khoe Gowab.

4. Do you use a twelve hour clock, or a twenty-four hour clock?
We use both – there is really no preference.

5. What side of the road do people drive on? What do we need to know about driving in Namibia?
We drive on the left-hand side of the road. The speed limit in town is 60km/ph and on the highway it is 120km/ph

6. How important is punctuality?
Extremely important – probably the German influence…

7. What types of music are popular? Who are some of your most popular musicians?
Local and International: Hip Hop, R & B, Soul, Afro-pop, House and Kwaito
Some popular local musicians:
Gazza –  watch,
The Dogg – watch,
Lady May – watch,
EES – watch

8. Are there any Traditional Dances?
Oshiwambo – watch
Tswana (No video)
San – watch
Herero (No video)

9. What traditional Festivals are celebrated in your community?
Only a few of Namibia’s cultural events are open to outsiders. These include Independence day on the 21 March, which is probably the most important day on most Namibian calendars. Independence festivities occur in every village, town and city and will often include singing and dancing as well as the obligatory speeches by members of parliament.
Maherero Day occurs in Okahandja on the weekend closest to the 26th of August. Thousands of Herero people gather in traditional dress for a memorial service to their chiefs, this is a spectacular and fun occasion. If you are going to be in Namibia around this time its worth visiting this festival, tours are often arranged from Windhoek.
Namibia also has several German style beer festivals the two most notable being Oktoberfest which takes place in Windhoek during late October and WIKA (Windhoek carnival) which happens in April.

10. What are your seasons like?
With 300 days of sunshine on average per year, Namibia is truly a sunny place. Summer is from October to April and temperatures can reach 40 degrees Celsius (104º Fahernheit) which fall at night to cool levels. Average monthly temperatures range from 20 º C to 34º C in summer. Average minimum winter temperatures range between 6°C and 10°C and average winter day temperatures between 18°C and 22°C. The rainy season is from October till April.

11. Tell us an interesting fact about your President?
Hage Gottfried Geingob (born 3 August 1941 is the third and current President of Namibia, in office since 21 March 2015.
In 1967 Mr Geingob married Priscilla Charlene Cash, a New York City native, and the couple had one daughter Nangula Geingos-Dukes. He later married Loini Kandume, a businesswoman, in 1993. This was a high-profile marriage and resulted in two children, a daughter Dângos Geingos and a son Hage Geingob Jr. However, Mr Geingob initiated divorce proceedings against Kandume in May 2006, and married his third and current wife in January 2015.
Hage Geingob Rugby Stadium in Windhoek is named after him.

12. What are Namibia’s major industries?
Fishing, Mining and Agriculture. Namibia is rich in natural resources such as uranium, zinc, copper, lead, gold, silver, tin, marble and granite. The mining industry brings in half of the country’s foreign earnings.

13. How do people spend their free time?
Drinking and social gatherings

14. What do people drink?
Traditional beer, wine, home made ginger beer, whiskey, brandy

15. What is a popular local dish?
Oshiwambo Chicken, Mahangu porridge and dried spinach
The staple food of the north-central regions is mahangu (a kind of pearl millet that is cultivated in the northern regions). The grain is pounded in mortars with long wooden pestles and cooked into a stiff porridge, oshimbombo, to be eaten with a variety of accompaniments – from chicken, ondjuhwa; wild spinach, ekaka; and bean sauce, oshigali, to mopane worms, omagungu, when available.

16. What do you pay for? (USD1.00 = approx. N$12.58)
In a restaurant…
A cup of coffee – N$18.00
A Coca Cola – N$12.00
A 2-Course meal for 2 people – nothing extravagant – N$300.00
At a shop…
A loaf of bread- N$9.00
1 litre of milk – N$16.00

17. Security – in general?
Namibia is a very peaceful nation. People have freedom of speech and movement. Good security and infrastructure are in place, but do exercise caution at all times like in any other country.

** Meaning: From the highest authority. From the source.
Origin: In horse racing circles tips on which horse is a likely winner circulate amongst punters. The most trusted authorities are considered to be those in closest touch with the recent form of the horse, that is, stable lads, trainers etc. The notional ‘from the horse’s mouth’ is supposed to indicate one step better than even that inner circle, that is, the horse itself

Africa Check: No new evidence that 30,000 children are trafficked in SA each year

Home Affairs officials have put in place strict new travel regulations, which they claim will help prevent 30,000 children being trafficked each year. Africa Check previously found this number to be exaggerated. Has new evidence emerged? By KATE WILKINSON for AFRICA CHECK.

Are 30,000 children trafficked each year in SA? In October 2013, Africa Check investigated the claim and found it to be exaggerated and unsubstantiated.

Nearly two years later the statistic is again making news headlines. This time the South African government is citing it as a reason for introducing stricter regulations for children traveling into and out of the country.

How many children are trafficked in SA each year? Are the estimates reliable? And will stricter visa regulations help? We reviewed the evidence.

Full birth certificate to ‘protect children’

The South African Department of Home Affairs started enforcing new travel regulations in June 2015. Children under the age of 18 must now carry their full, or “unabridged”, birth certificate when crossing SA’s borders. This shows the names of both parents.

A month before the regulations came into effect, director-general of the department, Mkuseli Apleni, briefed Parliament on the new travel requirements. In his presentation he was reported to have claimed that an estimated 30,000 children were trafficked through SA every year.

His presentation stated that one of the benefits of requiring minors to travel with an unabridged birth certificates was “protecting (them) from child trafficking”.

23 victims detected by government in last 3 years

Unfortunately there is little data and research on the prevalence of child trafficking in SA. This is partly because it is extremely difficult, and in most cases impossible, to quantify how many cases go undetected. Available research only sheds light on detected victims.

Marcel van der Watt, lecturer and researcher at the University of South Africa’s department of police practice, told Africa Check that no one knew how many children were trafficked in SA each year.

Researching the matter previously, we found that the International Organisation for Migration reported assisting 306 victims of trafficking in the southern African region between January 2004 and January 2010. Of these, 57 were children. In 2011, they reported assisting 13 victims in SA, but did not state how many were children.

In its 2014 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime stated that “the police reported to have detected 155 victims of trafficking (of all ages) during the fiscal years 2011/12 and 2012/13” in SA.

When asked whether new evidence of child trafficking cases have emerged since, associate professor at the African Centre for Migration and Society Jo Vearey directed us to a parliamentary question answered by Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba in June this year.

Gigaba said his department had recorded no instances of child trafficking between 2009/10 and 2011/12. Between 2012/13 and 2014/15 they had detected 23 victims.

Regulations won’t reduce child trafficking – experts

The director of the Centre for Child Law at the University of Pretoria, Professor Ann Skelton, has said her centre believes the new requirements are “far too broad” and that “the inconvenience to ordinary people far outweighs the actual risk of trafficking”.

Liesl Muller and Patricia Erasmus, both attorneys at Lawyers for Human Rights, previously told Africa Check that the measures will not prevent child trafficking.

“Real human traffickers don’t follow legitimate and documented methods of travel but cross the border in illegitimate and clandestine circumstances. The regulations won’t prevent this,” they said.

Conclusion: The claim remains exaggerated and unsubstantiated

The Department of Home Affairs recently told Parliament that its new travel regulations would help prevent an estimated 30,000 children being trafficked in the country each year.

While the true extent of human trafficking is unknown, no evidence supports the claim. The Department of Home Affairs reported that they had detected 23 cases in the last three years.

The government must act to prevent the horrifying act of child trafficking. However, policies and interventions must be based on sound research and accurate estimates, not exaggerated claims.

This article was originally posted on the Daily Maverick website and can be viewed here.