South Africans retrun to SA

South Africans enjoy braais on the beach. Image : Pexels

Champagne and steak: Cheeky Checkers ad targets SA expats

Checkers’ latest ad campaign is a creative and clever ploy to lure South Africans living in the UK and Australia to return to homesoil.

South Africans retrun to SA

South Africans enjoy braais on the beach. Image : Pexels

South African supermarket chain Checkers has been advertising in major overseas newspapers in an attempt to lure South African expats living in those countries, to come back home.


The United Kingdom (UK) and Australia are two of the countries that are home to the largest number of South Africans who live outside the country’s borders. But life in those countries is not cheap. Prices of consumable goods are generally way higher than in SA.

Checkers ran advertisements in The London Evening Standard and The Sydney Herald on 27 January, comparing the prices of some of its goods sold in South Africa, with prices for the same goods in the UK and Australia.  

“We want to remind the many South Africans living in both the United Kingdom and Australia, that our country is a great place to live, and Checkers makes living here even better,” says Mike Middleton, Chief Marketing Officer for Checkers.

Checkers advertises in London and Sydney newspapers: despite having no stores there. Image: Checkers


A cost of living crisis is being experienced across the globe with rising costs being felt by people in most states. Countries like the UK and Australia are experiencing spiking inflation which is hampering living standards for almost everyone there.  

With prices of food and basic needs surging across the world, many are battling to keep up. Places like London and Sydney, where large South African communities are based are ranked among the most expensive cities in the world. 

Being reminded of how South Africa compares on price may just be that little push that many SA expats need, motivating a homecoming.      


The advertisements show how much cheaper it is to buy products like Moët & Chandon, Coca-Cola, matured rump steak and laundry capsules at Checkers compared to stores such as Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Waitrose in England as well as Coles, Aldi, and Woolworths in Australia.

Checkers prices
Prices of goods in Australia compared with SA prices. Image : File

At Checkers a bottle of Moët & Chandon costs R408 less than at Woolworths in Australia and R288 less than at Marks&Spencer in the UK.


Given the current state South Africa finds itself in, who would even consider coming back to South Africa, especially after the major effort it took to leave the country?

With daily bouts of state-controlled powercuts, a looming water crisis spurred on by the failing national electrical grid, the collapse of much of the country’s infrastructure as well as a deteriorating economy that will fail to even achieve 1% growth this year, life in SA does not appear very attractive.

The truth is that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. There are definite challenges to life in Mzansi. But other places certainly are not perfect either. 


Even with a fully functional national power grid, running water coming through the taps all the time and an illusion of safety, life in places such as the UK and Australia can be extremely unfulfilling. Those countries lack the warmth and connection with people and place, that South Africa undeniably still has, despite its challenges.    

A number of South Africans who ventured abroad to live in countries such as Australia and the UK regret that decision. Several are coming back to SA, in search of better standards of living and to be with family and friends they miss dearly.

South Africans are resilient people who rise to challenges and who display immense generosity and kindness which is one of the nation’s greatest attributes.

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