London- South African expats have been urged to return home “and assist in creating a better country.”
Speaking at the Homecoming Revolution event at the London Expo 2014, several South Africans urged their fellow citizens “to come back where they belong.”
Lead SA activist and Head of Crime Line, Yusuf Abramjee, told hundreds of expats at the Olympia Conference Centre in Kensington, London, that South Africa needed their “skill and expertise.”
He said the country was plagued by various problems including crime and corruption, poverty, unemployment, etolls, load-shedding and potholes.
“…and let’s not forget Nkandla.”
“Despite all of these problems, we need you and you can make a difference. We need to all join hands and build a better country,” Abramjee said. “Join us and become active citizens.”
Abramjee said crime “remained a problem. I am also even not immune to it. In November last year, my family and I were robbed at our home in Pretoria.
“I could have simply given up. I could have put my head in the sand. But, it made me more adamant to fight the crime scourge. We have to all work together and make South Africa a better place,” Abramjee added.
He told delegates that the 2014 Crime Stoppers International (CSI) Conference was coming to Cape Town in October. “The world must unite,” said Abramjee who is CSI Vice-President.
He said every citizen “had to play a role. Ask what you can do for your country.”
Abramjee said South Africa “is not only about Oscar Pistorius and Dewani…Yes, these stories are making world headlines. But, there is also much good happening back home.”
Abramjee said to a loud applause: “We need you and we need you now. We urge you also to vote on May 7- where ever you are.”
He said “it’s not about whether you wear a yellow of blue t-shirt of sport a red beret. It’s about our future.”
“We are celebrating 20 years of freedom. We have achieved much but a lot of work still lies ahead…We need you. It takes one committed citizen to make a difference.”
Abramjee added that every expat had a role to play. “We must also take the Homecoming Revolution message to other countries including the USA, Australia and other parts of Europe.”
Founder and CEO of Homecoming Revolution, Angel Jones, said hundreds of South Africans were coming home and this “is very encouraging.”
Jones said “there are many good stories to share.”
Professor Nick Binedell of the Gordon Institute of Business, GIBBS, said South Africans could contribute to a better country and continent if they returned. “The continent has lots to offer.”
Speakers from Kenya, Uganda and Ghana also urged their nationals to return home.
Various South African companies and organizations are exhibiting at the London Expo. They include Group Five, Standard Bank, Barclays, The Foschini Group , Gibbs, the Food Bank and Brand SA.
Hundreds of people attended day one of the expo which closes tomorrow evening.
Steuart Pennington of SA Good News said South Africa had the 27th biggest economy in the world.
Several expats said they were seriously returning home.