I’ve recently begun an application spree in search of a place for me to complete my articles. To my dismay, quite a few places (namely: PwC and KPMG, et al.) only accept applications from SA citizens. While I have lived in SA for 11 years, I have never bothered applying for citizenship, mainly due to the fact that China (mainland) doesn’t allow dual citizenships. So, I have made a list of the pros and cons of applying for SA citizenship.
- More job opportunities
- Voting rights (although I doubt I would ever make use of that right)
- Giving up my Chinese citizenship – I don’t really get any benefits from retaining my Chinese citizenship but ceteris paribus, I would rather that than change because I am extremely patriotic, and I love my country.
- Harder to go abroad (?) – I’m not sure if this is true, but I heard (via the grapevine) that the UK (for example) is tightening visa issues to South Africans because so many of us are there already. (Not that I’d ever want to live in the UK – the weather is just too depressing over there.)
- Too much effort – The few times I’ve visited Home Affairs have left me gasping for air. The queues, the poor services and the general lack of intelligence amongst the staffing members mean a trip to Home Affairs is like a free fall into a bottomless abyss. (Not quite so dramatic, but you get the picture). Not to mention I study in Cape Town and I don’t have a car, so getting to Home Affairs will be a mission.
- I don’t qualify for BEE because my parents only arrived in SA post-1994. As far as I know, only Chinese-South Africans who obtained citizenship pre-1994 are allowed BEE privileges.
Anyways, I only start my articles in 2012, which means I have one and a half years to decide yea or nay.