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You have to love Australia...and white farmers?

You have to love Australia! It is not very often I agree with Julius Malema and his Economic Freedom Fighters but strangely this week, I find myself doing so. It is interesting and completely understandable that the South African Government has reacted with affront at the Australian Minister of Immigration’s ...

Iain

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You have to love Australia...and white farmers?

You have to love Australia! It is not very often I agree with Julius Malema and his Economic Freedom Fighters but strangely this week, I find myself doing so. It is interesting and completely understandable that the South African Government has reacted with affront at the Australian Minister of Immigration’s ...

Iain

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You have to love Australia...and white farmers?

Posted by Iain on March 16, 2018, 10:22 p.m. in South Africa

You have to love Australia! It is not very often I agree with Julius Malema and his Economic Freedom Fighters but strangely this week, I find myself doing so but for very different reasons.

It is interesting and completely understandable that the South African Government has reacted with affront at the Australian Minister of Immigration’s suggestion that they must look very carefully into trying to help and "fast track visas" for “white South African farmers who are being persecuted”. To suggest that these people need help “from a civilised country like ours” actually made my skin crawl. Not because South African farmers are not being targeted by their Government and criminals, but because virtually everyone in South Africa that is not black is being marginalised for reasons of ‘economic transformation’, and not a small dose of political retribution.

Australian hypocrisy seems to know no bounds. And nor their racist tendencies.

This all comes about as Australia responds to the recent passing of legislation in South Africa allowing expropriation of land without compensation. There’s no doubt that South Africa is increasingly  a tinderbox as the ANC Government continues to fail to deliver the sort of economic conditions that create employment, leaving millions of overwhelmingly black people (but more than a few whites, Indians and others it must be said) without work or prospects and with every passing month the politics becomes more radical to keep Mr Malema the leader of a minority support political party and not a majority one. He could easily hold the balance of power at the next national elections. The ANC rightly fear his politics and promises.

When President Ramaphosa said the law would now change to take land, he was clearly doing it to appease the increasingly-powerful firebrand and leader of the EFF. Of that particular fellow, everyone in South Africa should be frightened; irrespective of their skin colour. The reality is, however, that he is increasingly popular and he clearly does not like white people, no matter what he says. 

Part of me says good on the Aussies, but the other part says what about every other person in South Africa who is being 'discriminated' against because of their skin colour, and who is now paying for the sins of their (grand)fathers? 

I happen to be in South Africa at the moment and I’m noticing that those looking to leave the country are increasingly young and desperate and usually, but by no means all, white. I am seeing more and more young black South Africans as well. Most whites are leaving because they are being shut out of tertiary education and employment opportunities. I’ve always accepted Affirmative Action (priority given to black applicants for jobs and places at University for example) was a necessary ‘reset’ in trying to redress the social and economic inequality created by Apartheid. The fact that it is also economic suicide on so many levels is a price the ruling party and the majority of people of South Africa seem willing to pay. It smacks to me of short-term political gain for long-term economic pain.

Returning to Dutton’s concerns however, it strikes me as somewhat hypocritical that a nation known for “discouraging” refugees by dumping them in detention centres in the middle of deserts, shipping them off to third-world countries or locking them up on islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean misses a couple of points — many of those (non-white) refugees will be Engineers, Teachers, Software Developers and otherwise simply hard-working people looking for a break who would give as much to Australia as South African farmers would, and who also have a genuine and well founded fear of persecution if they stay in their home country which is discriminating against them.

Is being a white refugee better for Australia than being a non-white one?

What makes white South Africans so special? And what makes farmers more special than other people looking to get out of South Africa? Does Australia have a shortage of farmers? Would it also take non-white farmers under their fast track visa thinking or is it limited to whites (the legislation in SA is not limited to taking white owned land without compensation)? How about all the skilled white South Africans who are not farmers who would saw off their left arm for a chance to raise their children in a country where apparently skin colour doesn’t matter?

How ironic that a country apparently outraged at the racist treatment of white farmers is happy to have, at its core, an openly racist visa policy based on skin colour.

Someone tell me why you would single out white South African farmers for special treatment over and above the thousands of other whites (and other highly skilled but non-whites) in South Africa that are being cut out of the country's economic future? It is incredible they even think it let alone publicly declare it and it is racist. I am sure if they go through with it and you were a white South African farmer you won’t care, and I wouldn’t blame you. 

The Australian Minister of Immigration has long been a highly-controversial character with some of his world views, and I accept it’s up to each country to decide who they want, what skills they want and in what numbers. it has been a long time however since Australia chose migrants based on skin colour - a return to the pre 1950s whites only policy?

If however, Mr Dutton thinks that white farmers who are having their livelihood put at risk might be good for such a “civilised” country, what about all the rest of the white and other recently marginalised people in South Africa also being “persecuted” because they happen to now be growing up in a country in which their grandfathers ruled that whites and non-whites would be treated differently?

It says a lot to me about what makes Australia 'tick'.

Until next week...

Iain MacLeod, Southern Man


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13 comments on this post
March 16, 2018, 10:41 p.m. by Jimmy

South Africa will go down like Zimbabwe if the leaders are not careful. I thought Zimbabwe was a clear study case to learn from but it looks like not. I am hoping for a quick response from the SA government so they can reassure all the farmers of all colors and the entire country at large on how this sensitive issue will be dealt with and diffused.

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March 17, 2018, 6:33 a.m. by Nikki

White farmers are being brutally attacked and murdered, Iain - by, believe it or not, black people. I'm sure you're aware of this but you make no mention of it. I believe this is why Australia is trying to assist in fast tracking their visas specifically as opposed to some of the other skilled occupations you mentioned.

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March 17, 2018, 7:11 a.m. by Iain MacLeod
I hear you and don't disagree but as with all these issues it is more complicated than who is doing the killing. My point was not who is killing farmers (in some ways that is not relevant - if you are a white farmer and you are a target, you are still a target) as it is an indisputable fact that they are being killed for being nothing more than farmers, often geographically isolated and very vulnerable. We have helped moved a number to New Zealand so I am not ignorant of the pressures, fears and very real dangers they live under. I am on their side. What stuns me is a Minister from Australia has apparently decided that (only white?) farmers might get a special fast track visa simply because they are white is what got me. In 2017, 17,000 people were murdered in SA and only today an article in the Guardian newspaper quoted statistics that most of them were in fact black. So where is the justification in extending the hand to white farmers? Lots of people die in this country every day who would make great migrants to other countries but do you have to be white to be worthy? That is in no way to understate the horrific murders going on within the farming communities across this land. I have helped many farmers get to NZ because of what had happened to them, their friends or their neighbours. My sympathy is great and it is real. But why does Australia not extend that safety to the teachers, nurses, police officers, engineers, IT workers and others who are equally living under the threat of a violent end in South Africa? Are those people not equally worthy? It just seems hypocritical and racist to me. It isn't that the farmers don't serve a break it is that it shouldn't be limited to white farmers (if indeed they actually do what they say they might do). Invite all those that live here under the threat of violent end every day sanctuary in Australia.
March 18, 2018, 9:24 a.m. by Michelle Tiedt
It is my opinion that Mr Dutton is one of the few politicians who is actually acknowledging that white farmers are being murdered and threatened. Here in SA you only hear reporting of these murders on social media. It smacks of conspiracy which the SA government should be confronting. But you are right. Every South African is nervous and under increasing threat of crime and violence, locked up in our own little jails in the name of safety.
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March 17, 2018, 6:45 a.m. by Mike Hartlebury

Iain
The reason why Mr Dutton singled out white FARMERS is not only because of the latest racist rant to remove white owned FARMS without compensation, from not only Malema but from Ramaphosa too! But also the thousands of whites that have been murdered on FARMS. And Yes I understand that Ramaphosa is looking for votes from the racist base support of the ANC but If a white Politician had to appeal to voters and promise to remove Black FARMS ( which there are many) , and threaten genocide (Malema), then the world would be up in arms!

But YOU just gloss over that fact!

Thank you Australia, thank you, thank you, from the bottom of our hearts!!!!

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March 17, 2018, 7:09 a.m. by Iain
Mike, have another read of the piece. I agree with you. If the boot was on the other foot the world would be up in arms (but just like Crimea and Ukraine and Syria I suspect would do nothing about it). I am not condoning land grabs, Malema (we won't kill the farmers...yet' etc) and I am as horrified as the next person with any ounce of humanity over the killings on farms, but why is Australia interested in helping ONLY white Farmers? My issue is not that a country wishes to help a group under attack but that they are being so selective about which people when so many are under attack. I also wouldn't hold my breath the Australian Government will actually see this through. I hope they do for the sake of al those that want to leave and not stay, but I haven't yet heard the PM of Australia come in behind his Minister. I note the Foreign Minister has made some noises of encouragement but let's wait and see if this Politician has done anything other than raise expectations. I hope not.
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March 17, 2018, 8:15 a.m. by Drew

Why is black economic empowerment only for blacks? Following that same logic, whites who are marginalised and killed should get a way out of that hell hole. 70 000 whites have been MURDERED since 94. Every now and then an arms cache is discovered full of military weapons, presumably planted by our very own government, where else would all the masses of criminals find all those weapons. Statically these criminals killing whites are black, and also important to note is that statistically the criminals who are killing the blacks, are also black.

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March 17, 2018, 8:29 a.m. by Moe

I'm a South African. It's a blatant lie to suggest that white farmers are being persecuted in this country.
They are appreciated because they produce a large fraction of the food here, if not most of it.
And lots of murders do take place in this country (approx. seventeen thousand as was mentioned earlier, and most of them Black), but extremely few of them happen to be white farmers.

I would also like to remind the readers that these very same farmers are also responsible for treating their Black workers extremely badly, and on many occasions, they are murdered as well.

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March 19, 2018, 5:41 a.m. by Iain MacLeod
I have deleted an comment by Shaun responding to Moe because it simply goes too far. If people have something intelligent to say that adds to the conversation, all comments are welcome. When it descends into racist and personal attacks on anyone wishing to add to the discussion, I take them down. No one needs to agree with everything everyone else thinks or believes but it would be nice if the discussion could be kept objective and civil.
March 19, 2018, 4:38 p.m. by rob
Moe - you miss the point. The murder rate for white farmers is somewhere between 150 and 220 per 100,000 white farmers. That compares with 30/100k for SA as a whole, which compares with 3/100k for the US and .3/100k in Singapore and HK. Looks at the facts - and the truth is very obvious - what farmers are being targetted.
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March 17, 2018, 12:28 p.m. by Val

I see the point Iain is trying to make - why are only the whites offered the special treatment by Australia. I think it is wonderful that Australia would think of helping out but on the other hand if they really want to help, can they extend their offer to incorporate any South African who can prove to some level that they would be better off outside SA as a direct result of persecution - no matter what form. As a white South African, I feel persecuted and dread my future in SA due to the fact that I am a white South African female, 49 years of age, who cannot get work simply because priority goes to the "previously disadvantaged" being, in other words, black female, then black male by the time it moves on to the whites, there are no positions left - not to mention that I am also getting on in age in a career that is very easy for most black people to fulfill successfully. Being single, raising 2 children without support, looking at homelessness just around the corner, I too would like to apply to move to Australia or NZ - but I am not a white farmer. How sad!

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March 17, 2018, 7:29 p.m. by Iain
Thanks Val, nice to see someone got my point! My biggest concern in all of this? Having raised the expectation (look at some of the comments posted here) Australia won't go through with it because if they do it will make them look hypocritical. The hopes of all those they raised, will be dashed. Farmers are welcome in many countries including NZ without need for 'special passes' - many qualify under 'standard' skilled migrant or investor pathways.
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March 17, 2018, 12:29 p.m. by Val

I see the point Iain is trying to make - why are only the whites offered the special treatment by Australia. I think it is wonderful that Australia would think of helping out but on the other hand if they really want to help, can they extend their offer to incorporate any South African who can prove to some level that they would be better off outside SA as a direct result of persecution - no matter what form. As a white South African, I feel persecuted and dread my future in SA due to the fact that I am a white South African female, 49 years of age, who cannot get work simply because priority goes to the "previously disadvantaged" being, in other words, black female, then black male by the time it moves on to the whites, there are no positions left - not to mention that I am also getting on in age in a career that is very easy for most black people to fulfill successfully. Being single, raising 2 children without support, looking at homelessness just around the corner, I too would like to apply to move to Australia or NZ - but I am not a white farmer. How sad!

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March 17, 2018, 2:20 p.m. by Steven

Hey Iain. You walked into a land mine field on this topic. Many thanks to Jo and Paul for getting us to Australia. We have been in Sydney now for 8 months now. Life is so positively different here. I am so glad I no longer turn on the TV and am bombarded with the racial hatred that Mr M and others spew.
Kind regards.

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March 18, 2018, 7:20 p.m. by iain
Hi Steven, I've been coming to SA and helping South Africans for so long I could see the mines a long way off. The greatest sadness of everything happening in SA today is that everything boils down to a race argument. If you don't agree with someone you (or they) must be a racist. I have received a number of offline emails accusing me of being anti-white and others of being anti-black. How does that work? I even wait with trepidation every morning at breakfast when the wait staff ask me what colour toast I want. Do I want the white or the brown? Either answer will likely cause upset so I just say 'However it comes' to avoid any possible offence.
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March 17, 2018, 7:13 p.m. by Victoria

Iain

At first the people cried because the world didn't care, but now the first signs of acknowledgement of the situation and a helping hand, people criticize their intentions. Stop criticizing it and see it as the first breakthrough that people wanted for so long. More will follow, other countries will also start helping in ways that will make it possible for more people to immigrate. The more countries jump in, the more people will be saved.

I agree, everyone is in danger but the farmers are the ones with the biggest targets on their back. If you criticize Australia and call them names, you are not helping.

You agree with a backhanded slap.

We all want our families out of that country, but it is going to take time and it has to start somewhere. I am so happy that there is actually hope, where before there were none.

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March 18, 2018, 7:04 a.m. by Lawrence

A black triathlete was on a training run here in Durban, South Africa a few weeks ago. He was dragged into bushes by a bunch of other black men, and they attempted to saw his legs off with a chainsaw.

Call South Africa uncivilised, it definitely is, especially when compared to Australia and New Zealand.

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March 18, 2018, 11:15 a.m. by Calvin

As a South African I most certainly will give Australia credit for their decision to assist South African white farmers. I think it is racist to claim or suggest that Australia is racist for doing so. Besides, what is NZ doing to address the issue, besides taking an apathetic stance and making false accusations of racism, while claiming to be morally superior???? Let's not forget that the NZ Act party in Parliament brought to motion to discuss the issue only to have it vetoed by the NZ First Party. Let us also not forget NZ assisted the British forces to invade the free & independent Boer Republics during the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902 robbing, pillaging, raping & genociding nearly 30 000 men, women & children in concentration camps. Also, NZ recently accepted 150 "refugees" from Manus Island detention centre, none of these were white. I guess that must mean NZ is an anti-white racist country.

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March 18, 2018, 6:41 p.m. by iain macleeod
Calvin, you will see that the PM of Australia has not backed his Minister in his most recent statement, but has said the country will continue to operate a non-discriminatory policy which suggests he thinks his Minister has gone too far. NZ is accepting farmers and my team and I have been helping a number of families to settle in NZ under other immigration pathways. There'd be a lot of SA farmers that would qualify for Australia under their non-refugee pathways, as with NZ. FYI - For whatever the relevance to this discussion at the time of the Anglo Boer War NZ and Australia were British colonies so when Britain declared war that included NZ and Australia. Naturally soldiers from both colonies were sent to fight. On the Manus Island issue our Government, which is a strong supporter of the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees, offered to take 150 UN mandated refugees off Australia's hands because they have made pretty clear they don't want them. I doubt the asked what colour they were or what their occupation was. Australia refused because they said they did not want to encourage others to seek asylum there. You going to criticise NZ for offering to help a friend in Australia and people the UN had 'signed off' as refugees? That's a bit harsh. NZ recently decided to increase its refugee quotas by around 25%. Any farmer that meets the definition of 'refugee' would be welcomed in NZ. The point you miss is that Australia seems to acknowledge that the SA Farmers don't meet the UN definition of refugees (yet?) and that is why they are talking about (note, talking about) some possible pathway under their humanitarian policies. That wold be a wonderful thing for those farmers wanting to leave SA...IF the Aussies actually go through with it. I wouldn't hold my breath they will if I was relying on them.
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March 19, 2018, 11:14 p.m. by Tania

If white people are being singled out and being killed in a country (and there is clear evidence of this), and you fail to help them, what are you then not, but a racists, if you refuse to see their skin colour?

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March 22, 2018, 11:40 p.m. by Jevaun

I say let the white farmers go to a Country that wants and will appreciate them, its cruel for political figures to say that white people must leave South Africa and there is no back lash for their racist comments, them when Australia wants to take them, South Africa has a fat lot to say, Does our country want to keep these people to show them a point that we can make you suffer and there is nothing you can do about it, if we continue down this line, the same way black people acted and fought for freedom, the rest of the races will do the same, because i am not white and yet i feel as though my life opportunities are limited and feel as hard as i work, i will never be a manager because every company has to send there bbeee projection plans for what they expect their company to look like with regards to race, gender etc and management and higher, is planned for black people, not colored, not Indian, not white, maybe afew companies may hire 1 or 2 from those race groups, and the people that are currently in high positions that are not black, have to hold on to their jobs because if they lose the one they got, the chances of getting into another company in that level is very slim, not because of the lack of experience but because of bbee..

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