Tag Archive for: Cape Town

A Journey of Reflection

In the midst of a global pandemic, with uncertainty looming, I made a spontaneous decision that would alter the course of my life: I moved to the United Kingdom. Leaving behind sunny South Africa. I embarked on a journey into the unknown. I boarded the plane, excitement mingled with doubt, but I thought to myself there was no turning back now, as I had left with the mindset that I was not returning to South Africa.

I recall the exhilarating chill that welcomed me as I stepped off the plane, invigorating me to embrace the new adventures ahead, a stark contrast to the warmth I was accustomed to my whole life up until then. Despite the uncertainties, I was determined to make it work. Settling in the city centre, I navigated through closed streets due to lockdown and snowy sidewalks, adapting to a lifestyle vastly different from what I had known.

As lockdown restrictions lifted and life began to normalise, I couldn’t shake the feeling of longing for home. The cultural differences, the absence of familiar food, and most importantly, the yearning for family weighed heavily on my heart. Despite making great friends and building a life in the United Kingdom, I felt a sense of displacement, a longing for the belonging I once felt back home. Africa is a feeling. I cherished the sense of liberation, strolling through the streets without constraints, exploring local parks, utilising public transport, all while feeling reassured by the safety and security around me. Amidst all the opportunities, there were certainly challenges to embrace. Personally, navigating through the enriching experience of culture shock, a phenomenon no one warns you about, stood out as challenging, offering unexpected lessons and growth along the way.

A year into life in the United Kingdom, I made a visit back to South Africa to see family — a bittersweet reminder of the world I had left behind. The visit offered a meaningful glimpse into the essence of my roots. The vibrant beaches, the diversity of cultures, the boundless expanse of the ocean—each facet – resonated with a sense of home that the United Kingdom couldn’t quite replicate Africa, with its lasting mark on the soul, left me spellbound once more.

Upon return to the United Kingdom from the visit, bidding farewell proved to be the most challenging it had ever been—far surpassing my initial departure. Nevertheless, resuming life, continuing to nurture the life meticulously crafted in the United Kingdom. However, as the months went by, a palpable sense of longing enveloped me, a yearning for South Africa that became a constant presence in my thoughts, sparking regular contemplations of what life would be like back home.

The decision to return was certainly not made lightly. Months and months of contemplation, weighing the positives and negatives, led to one undeniable truth: there is no place like home. The pull of family, the richness of culture, the warm weather and the sense of belonging were irreplaceable.

On my return journey to South Africa, I pondered the invaluable lessons obtained from my time abroad. Embracing discomfort, confronting challenges directly, and cherishing fleeting moments of happiness profoundly shaped both my personal and professional growth. Not a single ounce of regret spoils my experiences. I genuinely savoured my time in the United Kingdom and all it offered. In fact, I wholeheartedly advocate for anyone with the chance to explore new horizons to seize the opportunity and embrace the journey.

For anyone considering a move, I offer these words of advice: do your research, brace yourself for culture shock, and allow yourself to feel the full spectrum of emotions. You will have good and bad days. Engage with your community, step out of your comfort zone, and seek support from Destination Service Providers. Push yourself to be brave and adventurous. Explore as you go and give yourself time to adjust to your new normal.

Every country has its pros and cons. Since moving and returning, I have a new outlook on South Africa because I learned to appreciate small things. On paper, South Africa is not a perfect country. I don’t blame people for leaving. The problem is, most people think the act of leaving is the solution, when really all they’re doing is trading one set of pros and cons for another.

Sometimes one can be too focused on what they don’t like about their home country while simultaneously taking the amazing aspects for granted. You only really understand the true value of these overlooked qualities when you’re on the other side of the world for a while. The problem is, once you’re in a new country, and once the rose-tinted glasses come off, there will be many other things you don’t like on that side of the world too.

The advice I will dish out is, make sure you relocate for the right reasons. Moving away may indeed be the best thing that you have ever done. I think the reason for this is simple. When you move, you will love it or hate it over time, depending on what you value. But again, you never just value one thing. And this is often why moving can be challenging.

Like most of us, I value safety, but I also value that warm South African spirit and friendliness, which is what makes it hard to live elsewhere.

I had a fantastic journey in the United Kingdom and am forever grateful to be able to explore and visit other countries whilst living there, but as for now, settling back into the familiar rhythm of life, my heart is filled with gratitude for the experiences gained and the memories made. Home truly is where the heart belongs, and for me right now, that is in South Africa.


Since moving back to South Africa, I have been delighted to be part of a team specialising in mobility, immigration, remuneration, and research services. I’ve gained invaluable insights into relocation and expatriate life—knowledge I wish I had possessed earlier. If you’re seeking guidance or information on relocating or any related queries, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to offer support and assistance every step of the way, helping you embrace the unknown.


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Written by Cassidy Dauberman

Africa’s global mobility continues to suffer as the world watches the COVID-19 crisis in India. Several African countries have introduced travel restrictions, and some have temporarily banned travel from India. This comes as India’s coronavirus cases skyrocket and new infection numbers reach record numbers.

Africa is largely dependent on India for their vaccine supply as India, whose Serum Institute is the source of the AstraZeneca vaccines delivered by the global COVAX project. India has placed an export ban on vaccines due to the increased domestic demand. This has adversely affected Africa’s rollout of its vaccination programs.

Countries in Africa have introduced new travel restrictions in response to India’s COVID-19 crisis:

  • Malawi – Malawi’s Minister of Health, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda has also announced a ban on travellers from India.
  • Nigeria – Nigeria’s chairman of the presidential steering committee on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, announced in a statement that the country will ban travellers coming from India from May 4.
  • Tanzania – Tanzania’s health ministry announced that Tanzania has suspended flights to and from India amid the Covid-19 surge in India.
  • Kenya – Kenya’s Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mutahi Kagwe has announced that flights to and from India will be temporarily banned for the next two weeks from May 1st.
  • Uganda – Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng reported that Uganda has so far recorded one case of the Indian strain of the coronavirus. “Further to the existing Covid-19 control measures, all travellers and passengers originating from India shall not be allowed into Uganda starting at midnight of May 1, 2021,” she said.


Not only is the COVID-19 a threat to Africa’s vaccine supply but also global economic growth. India is the world’s sixth-largest economy and is a contributor to economic growth. These new strict travel restrictions affect the airlines and airports, and businesses dependent on the travel industry.

One of the industries heavily dependent on the travel industry is the global mobility industry. PWC reports that “40% of companies told us the pandemic has had a moderate or significant impact on the ability of mobile employees to continue with business as usual. Two-thirds of companies who had employees on secondment or transfer at the outset of the pandemic had offered them the option of returning home. As for future relocations, many have been postponed, but 58% of surveyed companies said they were allowing employees to start new roles from their home country.”

This is an adverse effect for the global mobility industry in Africa, as smaller African economies depend on the mobility of employees from large transnational companies. The ripple effect on smaller economies is much to think about. As Relocation Africa, a global mobility and immigration company, we know have seen and felt the struggles of this pandemic. We can only hope that in the near future, things will look up. In our next article, we speak in greater detail about the COVID-19 impact on global mobility.

At Relocation Africa, we specialise in mobility, research, immigration and remuneration. Feel free to contact us. We are always happy to help.

University of Cape Town (UCT) Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng has been named among the Times Higher Education’s (THE) 10 People of the Year.

Professor Phakeng is among the 10 people “who mattered in higher education in 2020”, named by THE on Thursday, 17 December. The list comprises “the academics and administrators who have shaped the debate in the past 12 months”.

According to THE: “There is no doubt that higher education will need strong, transformational leadership as the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, and few people embody this more than Phakeng. Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town since 2018, she continued to speak out powerfully against inequality in South Africa and in academia globally over the past year.”

“If universities are to transform into more equal institutions, they will need leaders like Professor Phakeng who are not afraid to speak uncomfortable truths and hold the sector to account.”

Speaking at this year’s THE World Academic Summit, Phakeng said that universities needed to show more “reflection and humility” around their own “complicity” in perpetuating racism and sexism, and called for the creation of more diverse leadership teams and an end to the exploitation of researchers from the Global South.

“If universities are to transform into more equal institutions, they will need leaders like Professor Phakeng who are not afraid to speak uncomfortable truths and hold the sector to account,” wrote THE.

Phakeng is the only African named on the list. The others are:

  • Patrisse Cullors (academic at Otis College of Art and Design, and Prescott College)
  • Professor Sarah Gilbert (scientist at the University of Oxford)
  • Professor Christian Drosten (head of the Institute of Virology at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin)
  • Professor Zhang Yongzhen (researcher at the Fudan University-affiliated Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center)
  • Dr Jill Biden (long-time college teacher in the US)
  • Professor Thomas Maschmeyer (chemist at University of Sydney)
  • Professor Neil Ferguson (mathematical epidemiologist at Imperial College London)
  • Dr Lauren Gardner (co-director at the Center for Systems Science and Engineering, Johns Hopkins University)
  • Dr Clare Wenham (assistant professor of global health policy at the London School of Economics).


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

This article was written by Tasso Evangelinos, CEO of Cape Town’s Central City Improvement District (CCID).

Twenty years ago, Cape Town’s CBD was a ghost town after hours. Investor confidence was at an all-time low. The establishment of an improvement district was the only remaining option to reverse the situation. Today the CBD has rising skyscrapers, safe and clean streets, myriad successful companies, inner-city residents, retailers and award-winning restaurants.

Cape Town’s Central City Improvement District (CCID), the first of its kind to be established in the country, turns 20 this year. It is a milestone worth celebrating, and a model worth emulating, as it has proven its worth to Cape Town over the past two decades.

Established in 2000 as a non-profit organisation, the CCID is funded by property owners to provide essential top-up safety and cleaning services in the city centre. Replicating the “Improvement Districts” first introduced in Canada and the US in the mid-60s, Cape Town’s CCID operates in a 1.6km2 geographic area stretching from Nelson Mandela Boulevard in the north to Buitensingel/Roeland Street in the south, and from Buitengracht Street in the west to Canterbury Street and Christiaan Barnard Boulevard in the east.

The CCID was initially managed by the Cape Town Partnership, a collaborative public-private partnership set up to drive the regeneration of Cape Town. At first, property owners were sceptical about the merits of a model that required additional funding when they were already paying municipal rates for the same services.

But 20 years ago, the CBD was a ghost town after hours and a “crime-and-grime” scenario prevailed. Understandably, investor confidence in downtown Cape Town was at an all-time low. The establishment of an improvement district was the only remaining option to reverse the situation. When the CCID and the CT Partnership parted ways in 2005, the CCID became an independent body.

Thanks to two decades of working hard with our collaborators and partners, we can stand back today and bear witness to a CBD that has rising skyscrapers, safe and clean streets, myriad successful companies, inner-city residents, retailers and award-winning restaurants. In doing so, we need to acknowledge the courageous strength of our pioneers – including Cape Town Partnership head Andrew Boraine, the late property developer Theodore Yach and many other property owners – who took the leap in 1998 to invest in the CCID. If we didn’t test the model, we would not have had the Cape Town we have today.

Thousands of people now choose to live in the CBD, largely due to the CCID’s success in creating a safe and clean city with a vibrant night-time economy. In 2005, the total value of property in the CBD was just above R6-billion. Two decades later, this valuation is more than R44-billion, a sign of confidence in the city’s future.

The CCID has withstood the test of time because it offers a model that empowers property owners and many other stakeholders to take ownership of their urban space. The CCID is about doing the basics well and consistently. The effects of our actions are clearly visible. From removing graffiti to cleaning around 72 tonnes of litter each month, the work of the CCID is here for all to see. As Abdul Kerbelker, executive manager of the Claremont CID, explains, the CID model works because it involves a “social contract” to create “a better place for all in partnership with stakeholders, including informal traders, retailers, businesses and property owners”.

The 2010 Fifa World Cup was a game-changer for the CCID, as the whole world saw people walking the streets of Cape Town. It fast-tracked a change in perception and suddenly, the Cape Town CBD was the place to be. As an indication, more than 100,000 people flocked to the city centre for Fifa’s final draw in December 2009. The city hosted eight matches, and the pedestrian bridges and public artworks put in place are still an asset to the city a decade later.

We can attribute the CCID’s success over 20 years to five key factors. The organisation’s ability to adapt and change has kept it relevant. This has been particularly salient over the past few months, as the CCID was able to respond and maintain operations amid a national lockdown brought about by a global pandemic. The CCID offers solutions to problems and tries new things without fear of failure. There is also the ability to bounce back after a setback — again, a trait that stands the CCID in good stead during challenging times.

And most importantly, the organisation relies on people with a “can-do” attitude, who want to make a difference. Having started with the CCID in 2000 as a precinct manager, before becoming COO and now CEO, I understand the importance of being involved in every aspect of service delivery. It is a sentiment echoed by CCID chairperson Rob Kane, who has been a board member since 2007:

“The CCID’s resilience undoubtedly lies in the quality of the people within the organisation. It is not about ‘managing from your desk’, but about being involved.”

Kane says the four pillars of the CCID’s mandate, namely safety and security, urban management, social development and communications, have remained unchanged over many years, “however the CCID has retained its relevance”. As a result, the CCID has been recognised internationally for its outstanding work, receiving numerous awards from the International Downtown Association.

Success is best when it is shared, and we now need to look at how we can tweak this model so that it can be adapted and applied in other areas and business districts where additional cleansing, safety and social services are sorely needed. The expansion of CIDs across the city, and indeed the country, is needed to enhance the quality of life for all South Africans.

I want to see South Africa improve. I want to be able to walk in Hillbrow, or Durban’s city centre, as I can in Cape Town’s CBD.

To find our more about the CCID, visit their website here.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].