A Trip to South Africa: The Experience! (Part 2)

by

Patrick Ogungbola
MD/ CEO, BLUEHEDGE REALTORS

Welcome May Quotes, Happy New Month

Hurray!!! This is wishing you a Happy New Month!!!

We sincerely welcome you to the month of May 2018.

The month of April 2018 had quite a number of trending news; some of which are: President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB)’s speech at the Commonwealth meeting which insinuated that Nigerian youths are indolent and which came with serious uproar from the Nigerian youths, PMB’s declaration of his intention to run for second term, the grand finale of Big Brother Naija 2018 with the theme ‘Double Wahala’ which took place in South Africa and whereby Mr. Miracle emerged as the winner, the popular Nollywood actor, Igwe Tupac’s instagram video that went viral, indeed ‘he deserves some accolades’, the stolen of the mace from the National Assembly during sitting in broad day light, amongst several other interesting trending news. Nigeria is an interesting place to be, never a dull moment!

Our article for this month is the concluding part of last month’s article whereby the writer shared his experience and challenges faced in obtaining South Africa visa.

We got the visa just two days to our scheduled date of departure; it was quite sudden, though we had anticipated it. We made our flight bookings (onward and return) and we managed to leave three days after we got the visa, that is, on March 9, 2018 to ensure proper preparation.

Ethiopia Airline Ethiopian Airline

On the day of departure, we arrived at the airport about two hours to departure. We were to fly with Ethiopia Airline; we did all the necessary checks and protocols at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA). We checked in and boarded the plane at the scheduled time and we arrived at Addis Ababa, Ethiopian where we had a layover (sleep over). It was about 5hours flight. Addis Ababa was very cold when we arrived; the temperature was 14°C (lower than the minimum temperature of regular air conditioners), and as a matter of fact, we could not sight any air conditioners in Addis Ababa, not at the hotel and the airport.

Addis Ababa Bole International Airport Addis Ababa Bole International Airport

We left the Afarensis International Hotel where we lodged at Addis Ababa at about 6:30am for the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport onward to Johannesburg. We departed Addis Ababa at about 9:00am and landed at Oliver Reginald (O. R.) Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg at exactly 14:30 hours. We got our luggage from the conveyor belt, and proceeded to the arrival lodge where a driver was already waiting for us. He conveyed us to our temporary residence – Jackal 3, Monateng Safari Lodge in Pretoria where we spent about a week. ‘Monateng’ means ‘Fun or Enjoyment’. The safari has different kinds of animals and birds in it. During the guided tour within the safari, we saw animals like lion, crocodile, zebra, hippopotamus, buffalo, kudu, sable, blue volda beast, water back, ipalla, iyala, monkeys, and several kinds of birds. There also exist different kinds of games and an Olympic size swimming pool (for adult and children).

Monateng Safari Monateng Safari Lodge

On the third day in Pretoria, we decided to go on a tour to Johannesburg. Amongst the several places we visited there are: Top of Africa building at Downtown Johannesburg which is a 50 storey building (the highest in Africa), Sandton complex where Late Nelson Mandela’s huge statue was stationed, as well as Late Nelson Mandela’s house at Houghton Estate. It was a very interesting tour and also an eye opener. People do compare Johannesburg to Lagos, but in my opinion, Joburg is far better than Lagos in terms of orderliness, organisation, civilization, cleanliness and development. With discipline and proper governance, Lagos may compete with some of the best cities in the world.

Sandton Joburg Sandton Complex, Johannesburg

View from Top of Africa Aerial view from the Top of Africa

Our final point of destination during the tour in Johannesburg was the visit to the Constitution Hill, which was a former prison converted into a national heritage and the highest court in the country on constitution matters. This was the most striking and captivating place throughout our tour because it depicts the past, the present and the future of South Africa. The remains of the former prison as well as the treatment of former South African prisoners were replicated. Some of these past prisoners include Mahatma Gandhi, Late President Nelson Mandela, Solo Simon Gama, etc.

Who is a criminal Number 4 (Former prison) at the Constitution Hill

Constitution Court The Constitution Court at the Constitution Hill

We spent the remaining few days at the Safari Lodge before going to our next destination – Cape Town, which is about 2 hours flight from Johannesburg airport – O. R. Tambo International Airport). While lodging at Monateng in Pretoria, we couldn’t go out as much because the location is quite a distance from the city.

Lagoon Beach, Cape Town Lagoon Beach Apartments

We arrived Cape Town on Friday, March 16, 2018 at about 14:00 hours. It was very windy and cold when we arrived. Getting to the arrival lodge of Cape Town International Airport, our host was already waiting to drive us to our new temporary residence – Lagoon Beach Apartment where we spent another week. The 2 bedroom self-catering apartment we lodged was directly overlooking the Atlantic Beach of the Western Cape. Unlike Monateng, Lagoon Beach Apartments is located within the city of Cape Town which has one of the best, predictable and organised transport systems in the world, courtesy of myciti bus system.

My citi bus Inner View of My Citi bus

Cape Town ecosystem Landscape at Woodbridge, Loxton West

We arrived Cape Town at a period when the city was going through acute drought; they discovered that the water table of the city was quite low and hence there was widespread publicity with regards to the judicious use of water. Everywhere one turns to in Cape Town, there’s always signages to remind you that one drop of water counts, so be water wise. As a matter of fact, while lodging into the apartment, we were made to sign an undertaking to use water only when there is the need to. We were also advised to take our bath once a day and it’s even a punishable offense to waste water in Cape Town. It was very amazing to observe that throughout our stay everyone we met cooperated and complied with this directive. You dare not use portable water for irrigation. This almost made me to weep for my country, Nigeria; God has really blessed us. I can’t remember if my country has ever experienced such natural disaster like drought. Are our meteorologists even concerned about the level of our water table? I imagine how much we waste water here. We usually begin our study when we’ve exhausted the water, and there’s no water to use again. We are always reactive in our approach to issues, rather than being proactive – it’s really so sad.

Be water wise Signage to be Water wise

I was excited when we were in Pretoria and Johannesburg because of the clean environment and well organised structure, however, I didn’t know that was just a tip of the iceberg until we went round the city of Cape Town. The city can be likened to any European city. The weather was mostly cold, we had heaters in our bedrooms. There even seemed to be more white people in Cape Town that one may be confused to think that Cape Town is not in Africa. There are several exciting tourist attractions and sceneries all across the city. Some of these include the popular Robben Island where former Late President Mandela spent 18years of his 27years in the Prison, Table mountain, the Canal Walk Mall, Victoria & Alfred (V & A) Waterfront, Cape Point, amongst several others.

Table Mountain View of Table Mountain

In this writer’s opinion and based on the places visited/ various interactions, South Africa is a lot more developed and civilised than Nigeria. The reason for this is not far-fetched – it’s as a result of long years of colonization by the Whites which led to the widespread development of the major parts of the country. It is also an interesting country, the people and the environment are friendly and accommodating.

However, the unfortunate reality is the fact that a very large percentage of the wealth of South Africa (estimated at about 90%) is still in the hand of the Whites; while majority of the South African indigenes are poor and they reside in the villages and counties. Most are also largely uneducated. This is due to the many years of apartheid and racial/ social segregation. We need to be reminded that South Africans got their independence just in 1994; the country suffered from many years of colonial rules, whereby apartheid was famously practiced.

FreedomCharter South African Freedom Charter

Nigeria and South Africa compared. Nigeria got her independence from the colonial masters in 1960, but from then went through several years of military rule. The current democratic dispensation which commenced in 1999 seems not to have yielded much dividends vis-à-vis infrastructural development, transportation, power (electricity), security, employment, economy, food security, education, health, housing, etc. All the above are either in acute shortage or limited supply in Nigeria. It is on record that South Africa generates about 45,700MW of electricity, while Nigeria is still finding it difficult to generate up to 7,000MW. In all the above problems that Nigeria is facing lie the opportunities. Opportunities hide in problems and it is in providing solutions to these many problems of humanity that wealth is created. There’s lesser problems to be solved in South Africa, hence less business opportunities. Their country has an efficient transport system, advanced mortgage system, well established banking and insurance institutions, flourishing tourism industry to mention a few. We observed that almost all the items we used and consumed throughout our stay in South Africa were produced in the country. In addition, as at the time of writing, the population of South Africa was estimated to be about 57 million people, while that of Nigeria is estimated to be about 194 million people (United Nations estimates, April 2018), hence the latter has a larger market. We also observed that most items are more expensive in South Africa than in Nigeria, most especially the FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods), this could partly be linked to their ‘limited’ population, and hence the need to export to other African countries such as Nigeria.

Nigeria and South Africa compared

The above reasons form the writer’s opinion that Nigeria still holds more opportunities than South Africa and will continue to be one of the economies to be reckoned with as far as global investment is concerned. Many South African companies have seen the opportunities in the Nigerian market and some have already taken position, while some others are the point of entry. Already, we have the presence of the following South African companies doing business in Nigeria:  MTN, Power Giant, Eskom Nigeria, South African Airways, South African Breweries, Multichoice, PEP Retail Stores, Refresh products, Shoprite, Protea Hotels, LTA Construction, Critical Rescue International, Oracle, et cetera.

The question is ‘how many Nigerian companies have presence in South Africa?’ Nigerians wake up! We may have won the war against political colonization, but how about that of ‘economic colonization’ and the resultant capital flight of our country’s resources. May God help us, even as we begin to help ourselves.

Flight

In conclusion, I must appreciate the tireless and undaunted efforts and sacrifice of our Secretary, Susan Jibril-Akang (Mrs.) who took my family vacation as a personal project. I must also appreciate my colleagues in all our branches in Nigeria who held forth and made my absence from the office irrelevant as work didn’t stop while I was away. We also say a very big thank you to all our clients and well-wishers for staying with us since all these years. We appreciate you all.

As usual, we want to remind you that we care so much about you, and that when it comes to your real estate investment and advisory, we are always here to give you the very best service you can never get elsewhere. That is our promise, and will always be.

Meanwhile, please find below our current properties for sale in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Thank you.

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