High Incidence of Crime in South Africa

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Jul 1st, 2003, 05:18 AM
  #1
Susan_H
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High Incidence of Crime in South Africa

We were planning on visiting South Africa this fall or this spring but have heard many, many reports on other forums of the astronomical rate of violent crime in South Africa. I met someone on my last trip that had lived most of her life in S.A., moved to the US and refuses to return. According to her, her family lives behind bars, never goes out at night, are always armed, and when driving, won't stop at stop signs for fear of being attacked.
How many people on this forum who have visited or live in South Africa have been a victim of crime? Please be honest. I realize it is a beautiful country and really want to visit, but am wondering just what I will encounter.
 
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Jul 1st, 2003, 05:35 AM
  #2
Tiiimeisonmyside
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Driving in SA is not a problem if you follow a few rules. Be off the road before night. Don't pick up anyone. Lock your doors. Stay on national roads. Rent from a good agent, and carry alonga cellphone and the emergency number.

You do need to be careful, but not paranoid about the situation.
 
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Jul 1st, 2003, 05:53 AM
  #3
caribtraveler
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Honestly? I lived in Johannesburg for a year in 1995. I used to go there every summer before that to visit my parents who were working there for about 6 years. We were NEVER victims of crime.
Having said that, several friends of my parents have been. 2 examples: a South African couple were coming home in their car and were carjacked at gunpoint in front of their gate. A son of friends was robbed at gunpoint in front of a grocery story.
Then again, my parents had many other friends who'd never been victims of crime there.
I think the previous poster is right. Exercise proper caution wherever you go, just like you would anywhere in the U.S. My family and I did.
South Africa is so beautiful, it would be a shame for you to not go because of crime worries. I'd go back in a sec.

 
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Jul 1st, 2003, 12:39 PM
  #4
sandi
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You take precautions in South Africa as for any destination you travel. There are places in every country where there can be problems, and that holds in London, New York, Chicago, Paris, Rome, especially Nairobi-or any big city and not so big cities and people haven't stopped traveling to these places.

I can think of many Americans who live in "gated" communities - behind high walls, security gates, guards booths, and security patrols - and in Texas everyone has a gun!

I presume you'll be traveling as tourist - visiting Cape Town, maybe the Garden Route, the National Parks (such as Kruger). I doubt you'll have plans to be walking around downtown Johannesburg after dark. So then, you have no worries.

Your days will be full and you'll likely be with a guide most of the time. In those instances where you have your evenings to yourself, you'll either be walking around the V&A Waterfront in CPT, or taking a taxi to/fr hotel for dinner and you'll be safe. If on the Graden Route you'll be fine, even if driving on your own; and when at the National Parks you're in secure areas and have guides with you almost all the time; your only worry here is some "monkey" taking your breakfast cookies.

Even if one of your hotels is listed with a JNB address it's likely to be located in one of the northern suburbs (Rosebank or Santon) which are safe.

As the saying goes "nobody walks around JNB especially after dark".

Plan your trip, it'll be the best experience and you'll enjoy every minute of it.
 
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Jul 3rd, 2003, 12:41 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I have lived in SA my entire life, and in Jhb for the past 22 years. While I know people who have been victims of crime, the worst that has happened to me is having a cellphone stolen out of my handbag in a shopping centre. I refuse to have my lifestyle dictated by the criminal element. I drive by myself at night. If I'm going through an area I'm uncomfortable about - I simply "put foot" and don't stop for anything. Many South Africans have been victims of violent crime and that is frequently the reason for people leaving the country, so ex-patriots are not really a representative sample. I live in a secure complex, go out at night if I wish, and I am not armed. Be sensible, if you feel uncomfortable anywhere then leave, and follow the usual precautions you would in any big city. As a tourist your biggest risk is in having things "lifted" out of your bag, or the awful experience Roccco reported on in terms of credit card numbers being copied and fraudulently used.
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Jul 3rd, 2003, 10:43 AM
  #6
Susan_H
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Thanks, everyone, for the encouraging replys. I usually am pretty fearless but some of the stories I have heard about the crime rate are very disturbing.
 
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