Welcome to Lewiston – as de Wet family seeks new opportunities in Australia
What do you get when you have two South Africans, one Zimbabwean and a Saudi Arabian? The de Wet family!
Celebrating their citizenship on March 21 were the geographically diverse family of four; Anita, 39 and Anton, 43; and their children Keyan, 9 and Ruan, 6.
They were included in a huge group of 11 from District Council of Mallala who were naturalised in March.
Originally from Zimbabwe, Anton moved to South Africa with his family when he was just 13.
“My parents decided for my sake that it was better to move,” he said. Growing up in Zimbabwe in the early 1980’s meant everyone usually had automatic weapons on them.
“I remember as a kid, instead of listening to the service in church, I just played under the benches and there were all automatic weapons lying under them,” Anton said.
“That was the lifestyle – you always had a weapon with you.”
Moving to South Africa meant true love for Anton as it was where he met his wife, Anita.
The couple eventually moved to Saudi Arabia after deciding South Africa was not a safe place to live anymore.
“The violent crime is the main problem – that’s the reason we left,” Anita said.
Anton said when living in one place for so long, it’s difficult to see how bad it actually is.
“It’s like the story of the frog in hot water – it doesn’t know it’s getting boiled,” he said.
Anton worked as a diesel mechanic for a couple of years in Saudi Arabia, but when they had their first child, Keyan, they flew back to have him in South Africa.
“Being the first grandchild of the family, we wanted to have him back home,” Anita said.
As for their second child, Ruan – he was born in Saudi Arabia, simply because it online casino was cheaper and easier. “You know, life can still go on normally,” Anita said.
Influenced by their life in Saudi Arabia and South Africa, Anita and Anton decided they wanted to give their children the best opportunities in life and move to Australia.
“The main reason we are here now is for the kids and their future,” Anton said. Anton had only just turned down a job opportunity from Kazakhstan when a day later, one popped up from Australia.
“That would have been our first priority, moving to Australia – and it was meant to be,” Anton said.
After living in Australia for several years, the de Wet family finally moved to Lewiston last September, sending the kids to Two Wells Primary School.
Now working mostly as a full-time mum, Anita is also studying for her Certificate IV in Accounting with Anton working as a training instructor in diesel mechanics.
To Anita and Anton, South Australia’s culture is just like South Africa – with BBQ, sports and fishing. As for the people, however, everything isn’t the same.
“It’s different with smaller communities – they ask how you are, what you’re doing and how’s your day, but everyone keeps to themselves in South Africa,” Anita said.
Having asked them both about what they thought it means to be Australian, they responded with great appreciation.
Anton said the kindness in South Australia is unlike anything he has seen in his life.
“The different nationalities, different backgrounds – Australians have a huge amount of respect for other people and it’s something you don’t always see in other parts of the world,” Anton said.
“And as a mum, what Australia means to me is safety,” Anita added.