Die verskynsel van Suid-Afrikaanse emigrasie geniet baie aandag in die media, met die fokus dikwels op sosiopolitieke faktore. Daar word egter min aandag aan die sielkundige ondervindings van diegene wat emigreer, geskenk. Dié artikel, wat deel vorm van 'n groter navorsingsprojek, fokus op sommige van die ondervindings eie aan Afrikaanssprekende emigrante. Die groter projek fokus op die impak wat emigrasie op die Suid-Afrikaanse gesinslewe het. Die resultate van hierdie kwalitatiewe studie dui daarop dat Afrikaanssprekende inwoners van die land dikwels 'n gevoel van vervreemding in die "nuwe" Suid-Afrika beleef. Emigrasie lei tot spesifieke interpersoonlike verliese en ook spesifieke verliese aan kultuur en taal. Laasgenoemde kan beskou word as 'n tipe kulturele rou, soos beskryf deur Ainslie (1998), wat eie is aan mense wat emigreer en hulle kulturele wortels agterlaat. Die moontlike verlies van die moedertaal, wat een van die mees tradisionele elemente van kultuur is, veral in toekomstige generasies, blyk 'n bron van kommer te wees. 'n Aantal aanbevelings vir toepaslike sielkundige voorbereiding word gemaak om die impak van hierdie verliese te verminder.
In our globalised world an increase in migration can be widely observed. Historically South Africa has been characterised by both internal and external migrations. During the apartheid years a number of emigratory fluxes took place, often linked to specific political events. However, a definite trend can be observed in post-apartheid South Africa, where a new surge of the population has chosen to leave the country. The people who emigrate tend to be highly skilled, hence this kind of migration is often referred to as a "brain drain" depriving South Africa of much-needed professional and technical expertise.
This emigration phenomenon has received a good deal of attention in the media, with the focus often on the socio-political factors behind the motivation to emigrate. The main reasons regularly identified are the high crime levels, affirmative action, corruption and uncertainty regarding the economic situation. The question, "Should I stay or should I go?" often highlights the dilemma at the heart of these debates and is explored at the beginning of this article.
However, in comparison little attention has been given to the psychological motivations as well as the experiences of those South Africans who decide to emigrate. An overview of some relevant local and international literature related to the process of emigration is provided by the authors. This highlights the main losses linked to emigration, specifically with regard to language, culture and personal relationships. It also describes the processes that individuals and families go through when they emigrate from their country of origin.
The focus of this article is on some of the psychological experiences unique to Afrikaans-speaking emigrants associated with their decision to leave South Africa. The data used for this article formed part of a larger research project on South African emigration. The main aim of this qualitative study was to explore the experiences and motivations of those South Africans emigrating, as well as of those family members and friends left behind. Furthermore, the project wanted to shed light on the impact that emigration is having on South African family life and social structures.