Out in Singers0001J.R. Wu lives in Beijing with her family. She wants to move to Joburg but first wants to hear from you how safe it is to live here.This is picture of me and my daughter Molly on a holiday in Singapore late last year. Call it an action shot…

Hi, I’m a new Mum in the sense that I’ve not yet had to consider my family when it comes to moving for my job. I’m wondering about making a move to Johannesburg. I’m a working Mum with two little ones – age 2 and 3. My hubby is the stay at home parent. We are originally from the US and UK, but currently live and work in Beijing, China.

The last time I mulled a move for my job, I was a footloose and fancy-free singleton. I only had to consider me. Any next move won’t be like that. We’ve lived in Beijing now for about six years and I’ve never been to South Africa – or Africa the continent for that matter – but it is one of those places I’d really like to see (my husband feels the same way). But the main worry for us is the security issue that Joburg is so infamous for.

I’ve browsed the Internet looking for anything that gives some idea that security is not an issue, or that it is less of an issue, than Joburg’s reputation suggests. But I’m not feeling convinced when I have colleagues and friends tell me it is possible to create a life in Joburg ‘not directly touched by crime’ or they say that it’d be better if I could relocate to Cape Town if I had a choice or I read up on Joburg living and find advice that one should drive with windows up and car doors locked all the time and not stop for red lights when driving at night due to high chance of carjackings.

Living in China, and our times traveling around Asia, kind of spoils you to the ease in which it’s so easy to go out with tiny tots. Wait staff coo over them and even take them off your hands so that you don’t have to worry overly much if they run out of your line of sight for an appetizer or dessert course at a restaurant or the option to walk about for a nightly stroll with the kids to pick up yogurt at the nearest shop; and then there is the great nanny helper – Ayi – that is a constant in many families, local and expat, in Beijing and Shanghai.

I guess I’m looking for some peace of mind – or rather rational advice – anyone can offer on this front? I know that generalizations don’t make for the most accurate picture of any place in the world. Jozikids’ Web site looks like something we’d find in Beijing – a city that I would totally recommend to another expat family if asked – so I was wondering if anyone might give me their insights about what living in Joburg is like with a young familly in tow.

Best, J.R. Wu

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