South Africans - Wakker Skrik(Wake Up)

I am not going to complain(at least not too much), but, South Africans can be(and are) an apathetic bunch. There seems to be a lot more interaction amongst other nationalities here.
There are far more of us(I am one) here than you realise( could even be more than Canadians, but who knows, the poll taken was hopelessly not responded to) Most seem to be in smaller towns, placed by the likes of Dragon Recruiters etc, who only care about themselves( so common, I wonder where they learned that) They certainly could not get away with what they do here back home, they would be lynched (figuratively)etc.
It is still legal to carry a firearm(gun)- mine was and is a big one with 16 bullets(rounds) which is neccessary because of the high crime rate,and
TAKE NOTE, in central Johannesburg, the murder rate is 12 times higher than the worst getto in the USA. Other areas are not much better.
Everybody is close to or knows someone who has been a victim of a shooting/stabbing/hi-jacking/armed robbery/rape and other such violence.
No jokes, I have been stabbed twice, shot once.
I am not looking to blame anyone, or to look for reasons,but the people are far more strong and determined back home.
It is almost as if they lose it all here(like Samson with short hair,Ben Johnson with no steriods)
Comparatively, Taiwan is a peaceful paradise.

http://www.gogotaiwan.com/northengjobsht/_NorthEngJobs/000006ed.htm
written by a vindictive Frank Alexander form Hsinchu - I doubt if it is his real name, the lying coward.
Why I say South Africans are apethetic, if the same had been said about America, Canada, Australia,New Zealand(in that order of volume)- in fact almost any Western country, all hell would break lose.
So, fellows, make yourself heard.
You are screwing it up for yourself and for others, now and in the future.
So, get off your butt and get motivated.
You do not have to settle for such abuse.

Not more about this Frank Alexander stuff again?! C’mon, this has been around a while. South Africans have a right to be offended by stuff like that, but I doubt it was anything more than a hoax. I doubt Frank Alexander is a real person. You seem to be advocating some sort of action in response to this already very old supposed letter. What kind of action do you propose? The last post in regards to this Alexander letter found its way into the flounder forum. Have to wonder is this one should end up there, too.

i have met quite a few south africans since being in taiwan. prior to coming here, i knew none nor am i particularly well-educated regarding south african history :blush: in fact, i know very little… only what i’ve been told by my SA friends here.

i find SA’s to be quite interesting and I love to hear about their country, the history… as I can’t really imagine a lot of it having grown up in the states and canada… i like how each has a different accent depending on which region they are from, but here’s what always throws me off when I meet a new SA:

the last time I met two SA women at a bar and before I could even get a word in edge wise, they felt is necessary to throw out a huge disclaimer about how discriminated against they are here… how they are just as capable of teaching English as I am being from north america, and that all NA’s are spoiled etc… now me, having absolutley NO preconceived notion about SA"s cause I know nothing about their country, politics, culture, etc… couldn’t understand why I was being targeted as someone who hinders their ability to succeed in Taiwan as English teachers. All of a sudden i felt like I was fighting a battle when I didn’t start a war. I know nothing about Taiwanese views towards SA’s either… it’s like they started defending themselves for no need… it was quite bizarre and this has happened on a few occasions…

always upset cause they feel NA’s have it better here… but as a NA myself, i had no idea but it’s as though they automatically see me as the enemy… it’s weird.

anyway, doesn’t really have anything to do with your post… but i can say that i haven’t met any apathetic SA’s here… all the ones I know work their asses off because they are finally able to enjoy and afford things they couldn’t at home.

[quote]the last time I met two SA women at a bar and before I could even get a word in edge wise, they felt is necessary to throw out a huge disclaimer about how discriminated against they are here… how they are just as capable of teaching English as I am being from North America, and that all NA’s are spoiled etc… now me, having absolutley NO preconceived notion about SA"s cause I know nothing about their country, politics, culture, etc… couldn’t understand why I was being targeted as someone who hinders their ability to succeed in Taiwan as English teachers. All of a sudden i felt like I was fighting a battle when I didn’t start a war.
[/quote]

This fits in quite well with what I said in the “White Privilege” thread. As a white South African I never grew up experiencing much negativity because of my race/origin, but when I came to Taiwan I experienced it for the first time. (mostly from other teachers/foreigners) I have heard anything from the fact that as a South African I’m desperate and willing to work for almost nothing, thus ruining the job market for others, to the fact that I am unable to speak and teach English. And what was the weirdest thing, even though I am pretty confident and don’t agree with these statements, for the first time I felt myself becoming defensive.

The Frank thing was ridiculous. I basically just ignored it, as did most of the school owners who have received such letters (there have been others). But each of those letters had exactly the same points, and the things said are hurtful to SAs, especially to those who speak Afrikaans.

To answer the OP’s rather aggressive post. I don’t avoid other SAs. I have a few SA friends. But I don’t particularly seek them out either. And I don’t find it necessary to join ranks to fight any evil oppressive force…we’re all too different, and we all have different battles to fight, and parties to go to. :smiley:

How could it have been a hoax ?
There must be a reason why S.Africans are blatantly descriminated against by many schools/institutions/organisations.Most that have been here for some time will attest to that.
So yes, many have a chip on their shoulder, and it is unfair to attack the individual who is in an advantageous position, and it was not by their own doing.
Heard from a friend from a friend.
Gov. schools can hire from the US,Can,Aus,UK.NZ but NOT SA.
I do not know if it is a recommendation or a law, and to which region or county this refers to, as it is early days and not widely known, but I wonder why it is so.
As for the comments by Toasty, if it should end up in the flounder column and was so unimportant in your mind, why did you have to comment ?
The letter is old, but can you see the connection?
Do you think it is because SA now recognises China and not Taiwan ?(ha ha)

I don’t understand this sentence at all. Who is the individual in an advantageous position?
But seriously, if you talk about your own or your friends’ experiences of discrimination, or the fact that schools might not be hiring SAs, you might have a point. But if you’re going to keep on about the Frank letter, you will quickly lose your audience.
Fact of the matter is, many SAs, myself included, are not native English speakers. So if we should be allowed to teach, why aren’t we rallying for e.g. German, Japanese, or Mexican teachers who have attained the same proficiency in the language?

It is up to the others(as you say) to rally for themselves.They will certainly not do so for you.
The individuals in an advantageous position are those from the other"Native English speaking" countries.(please give me a definition)
I would like to hear from others who have also been descriminated against, and there are so many.
Yes, I am English(my Mother is), English school,English university etc.
So, you, being non-native English(Afrikaans,I presume) keep quiet and are grateful(?) for how you are treated.
There is a lot going on that you are not aware of(I do not think too much)

Bigmoose, I’m a Saffa, and I’ve never experienced any discrimination of any kind - in my workplace, or in a social context.

I’m comfortable with my nationality, and my ancestry. I’m of English and Scottish stock, with a little bit of this and that thrown in (still climbing the family tree to fully figure out what). I’ve lived in a few countries and consider where I live my home, and adjust and behave accordingly.

My English is great, thanks to fantastic, caring and professional schooling in SA. I’m able to competently write, copywrite, edit, proofread and teach the language with ease. I’m confident and capable in this regard.

I still find some South Africans have a rather backward attitude though. A 'give it to me on a plate" mentality.

And whether you like it or not a lot of South Africans have racist inclinations, partly due to the propaganda campaign (miseducation/diseducation) the apartheid government aggressively lead in the past.

South Africans might not band together as strongly as you would like, perhaps because back in SA we were all fighting for the same job. We were one another’s competition…

Yeah, that’s my thoughts on this one…

I have never experienced any discrimination from employers here. So it would be helpful if you could point out cases where you feel you have been discriminated against, e.g. is it true that government schools won’t hire SAs? I thought an SA friend of mine was working at one.

I don’t feel grateful that somebody here is at least offering me a job, because I have been here for five years. In that time I have applied for only two official jobs, and I got the job every time. I have also worked (illegally, yikes) in the human resources department of a big company here.
I have only experienced negativity from other foreigners here, and then I usually judge it on a take-it-from-whom-it-comes basis. What do I care if some person wants to make generalizations about my entire country? Have you ever seen how the poor Americans get ragged on here?

Other than that, I haven’t seen any discrimination from companies or schools. (except for the fact that I’m probably in a better position to be employed because I’m white)

Yes, I agree many there are still racist( or whatever).
That situation is and was not unique to S.Africa. I could give you examples of many other countries who did the same,albeit in a different guise. But I wont throw old stones, and will look ahead.
The standard of education there has definitely dropped, to cater for the masses.Many other countries will not accept SA degrees/diplomas(I was told esp. in the Medical field)
I went through pre and post apartheid, so I think I have a balanced view, I am getting on.Yes, too many S.Africans have a narrow outlook of the world(probably due to isolation,propaganda, and lack of money to travel) and expect their bread to be buttered on both sides.
Fighting and aggression is and was the norm.
I spent a long time in the military,where the “enemy” was known and clearly identified.
Now the “enemy” is everywhere,unseen, not if but when it will attack.
People from other countries cannot imagine the situation, and never will.
Thats why I said Taiwan is “paradise”(apart from the traffic)
What did/does not help with the “whities”(and others) as far as togetherness goes was and still is the seperation of schools/universities etc between English and Afrikaans. People of other countries are not aware of this practice.

:no-no:

(Just kidding :slight_smile:).

I think it is very problematic to see all whites in South Africa as the same. I have a friend from Natal who is very proud of his British descent, and I have friends who are Afrikaans from whatever descent (it is not exactly a white language anymore which I guess you acknowledge by adding “and others”) and very proud of it too. They will do anything to keep Afrikaans literature and education alive. Whites in South Africa are culturally very different.

No, I guess the Afrikaans/English separation of schools, etc. is not helping, but it is a divide that exists. What are you going to do about it? Force all the schools to give only English instruction? Force all the schools to give instruction only in Afrikaans? It is a very difficult situation, particularly as post-Apartheid propaganda has all of us super-aware of our right to express ourselves within our own cultural background and language.
Anyways, I don’t think the language issue is what is motivating other countries not to accept SA degrees, but rather the fact that, as you say, the quality of education has gone down. I can only hope that it is all just part of the recovery process, and that the situation will improve in the future.

I dont think you can make an assessment from 2 job applications.
Gov. school or private school ? A big difference between the 2.
Keep up to date with new regulations. I do, where it affects me.
Being ragged on is OK,give and take, but blatant discrimination ?
I have been rejected many times, like so many others who have been here a while and looked to improve.
Always the standard question “where are you from”-S.Africa-Sorry.
Some are direct(better) but some ask for a faraway interview, then reject without reason(you soon find out what the probable reason was, the shifty eyes and change in breath).This even if you ask beforehand if country of origin mattered. Others here have told me similar stories, so I am not unique or overly deficient, I just never forget and I am observant.
Someone told me (I wont say where they were from “its ok to lie to save face”.

Give me Soma- Aldous Huxley

You are right, I was never aware that South Africans could not apply at government schools here. I wonder if they have that somewhere in writing. Is it an official policy, or is it just the personal preference of some school principals?
The fact that you are writing about your personal experience now also adds a lot to your argument. Do you think it is because of language issues?
I must say that South Africans are not helping. My boss came to talk to me once as most of the SAs at our school spoke Afrikaans to each other during school time and even during our once-a-term school socials/dinners. Luckily all of those people have since left. She wanted to know what this language was, and why everybody was speaking it at school.
Could it be that they’ve realized other countries are not accepting our degrees anymore? Are the parents objecting to a certain (ahem) accent? Have they discovered just one too many SA with a fake degree? (a big issue a few years ago)
What do you think?

[quote=“bigmoose”]How could it have been a hoax ?
There must be a reason why S.Africans are blatantly descriminated against by many schools/institutions/organisations.Most that have been here for some time will attest to that.
So yes, many have a chip on their shoulder, and it is unfair to attack the individual who is in an advantageous position, and it was not by their own doing.
Heard from a friend from a friend.
Gov. schools can hire from the US,Can,Aus,UK.NZ but NOT SA.
I do not know if it is a recommendation or a law, and to which region or county this refers to, as it is early days and not widely known, but I wonder why it is so.
As for the comments by Toasty, if it should end up in the flounder column and was so unimportant in your mind, why did you have to comment ?
The letter is old, but can you see the connection?
Do you think it is because SA now recognises China and not Taiwan ?(ha ha)[/quote]

I don’t think the mistreatment of any group of people is an unimportant issue, however I do think the Frank Alexander letter is nothing to get upset about. I just think it’s old news at worst (must be a year or two old by now) and most likely a complete fabrication meant to inflame. I honestly think it’s either a hoax or the person who wrote it is so completely nuts that he wouldn’t/shouldn’t be taken seriously anyway. I just think people ought best to ignore nonsense like that letter. The author of it, sincere or not, is waste of space on this earth and is simply best ignored. Don’t give him or his letter the attention he is seeking.

I hear it is an official policy, but very recent. It made me angry and bitter.
Like all else here, I am sure it is negotiable, and subject to change, especially when there is a shortage of teachers. Or the ARC is in the name of some private company here, as a “consultant/writer”, not in the name of the school. Just another skelm taking a cut for little effort.
Fake degrees, I dont think so. There have been a fair share of other people from elsewhere. They do checks rather thoroughly, I believe, and if they dont, they are to blame.Dont paint me with the same brush(I want fairness and Equality)
I think language issues are a large part “I can only understand American/North American English”- no offense Americans/Canadians.
But if that is an absolute requirement, why dont people/students sound vaguely “American”. Have you heard some of the Chinese/Taiwanese English teachers-I shudder(they do have my respect as teachers)
Other nationalities retain their own language here, and use it.Italians,Romanians,Russians,French- why not the Afrikaans.(and a host of others too numerous to mention)
Do you think pupils/students are learning the language by eavesdropping ? Bad manners(huh, what does that mean ?)
If the majority do not listen in class time, why should they have the benefit of getting into the personal lives of the foreign teachers ? What are they doing in the staff/teachers room anyway ?
As a teacher(from adult to teen) question time always involves personal questions(girlfriend/boyfriend/gay/drink/drugs/whatever)
. Thats why many make up and bulls#%. Give them what they want. I am ranting and digressing. Another viewpoint- South Africa is not important enough as an importer to Taiwan,so money talks( bulls#% walks.)

[quote]I used to have a superior complex, but now I am absolutely perfect[/quote].

I’ll come back to this one some other time.

Aubrey, I applaud you for your courage and “vasbyt”.
Apartheid is long gone(the law at least), it was not my idea, most were born into it or had no say.You cannot blame all Germans because of Hitler. Verwoerd was a Dutchman(Holland), most do not know that.
Tables have now turned in SA(reverse discrimination), the Whites(esp.Afrikaans males) are the most discriminated against.
I have heard of some “colourds”(note the spelling) now becoming suddenly “Black” (they were “White” before) to gain an advantage.
It is a crazy mixed up situation.
Affirmative action is now a very contentious issue.( I wont go into that)
Most things have been forgiven and forgotten(almost)
The country has such potential, if only crime and violence could be better controlled- do not blame that on poverty as many poor countries are relatively crime free.You need safety and stability first and foremost.
Hollywood portrays certain parts of the US as extremely dangerous, crime ridden. What a joke.(they have to make movies about something)
I repeat, in central Johannesburg(Hillbrow) the murder rate is 12 times higher than the worst ghetto in the US.
Go to a State hospital, esp end of the month after payday, it is worse than the aftermath of a military battle.It is so bad, that only murders/violent crime that are very unusual or interesting(sick) are reported on in the media. The rest are conveniently ignored.
Look at Singapore as an example-rather extreme but it works.
People naturally like to think of themselves as better in some way than others, even if it is an obvious illusion(as an individual or as a group) But when it is shoved in your face and openly practiced, time for action.
I too, have been rejected by the fairer sex(too often) for strange reasons(to me).
Like water off a duck’s back.

I remember a quote from an excellent movie some time ago “Body Heat”
William Hurt said, " sometimes the SH*# comes down so heavy I wish I had an umbrella.
Q. What is the difference between life and a bucket of SH#*.
A. The bucket.

A big issue is, and has been made of South Africans who speak Afrikaans to one another, in a school,teachers room,function etc.
Now why would others want to eaves drop - very rude.(duh-what is that)
Pupils or students who rarely listen in the classroom then suddenly want to listen to other’s conversation.
When 2 native speakers of any language speak to one another, they do not speak s l o w l y and clearly as if in the classroom, and speak in terms of local expressions/idioms, that even another English speaker from elsewhere would battle to understand.
Have you ever heard 2 Scotties talking ? Some of the English(England) accents ? Sounds Greek to me.
Other nationalities do it, amongst others Romanians,Russians,Latinos etc.
Why not Afrikaners ?(note the “K”, no “C” in the Afrikaans language)
Why not outlaw Mandarin also when English speakers are in sight ?
You will be amazed what is spoken about you by many locals in front of you, if they THIMK you cannot understand Mandarin.
Racisim and discrimination is blatantly practiced here.

You can ban something, but you cannot make it unpopular.

Again, its OK to lie to someone in order to save “face”

interesting discussion this. i have a saffer girlfriend so have some insight in to south africans in taiwan…as to standard of english…it is a tough one to call. of course south africans of english descent have good english. afrikaans speakers…it depends on the individual, where they grew up and schooling etc. my gf i would call a near-native speaker and she herself will admit she isn’t really qualified to teach adults (she doesn’t). i have met some saffers whose english is way too poor to teach with and some with perfect english. it’s a grey area and i dont think its surprising discrimination occurs. (when i came here from kiwi-land i had to lose my accent quick because people couldn’t understand me.)

as to speaking afikaans in school; it shouldnt be a problem but when you are under suspicion of being non-native speakers it hardly helps matters does it?

my big fear in the long run is that the MoE will have a change of heart and take SA off the list of countries qualified to supply teachers…that would be heartbreak city for a lot of people here or planning to come here…