is south africa safe?

Old Nov 17th, 2007, 01:58 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
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Im a 33 year old south african born in Johannesburg and stays in Pretoria for the past 30 years.

South Africa is just as safe as anywhere in the world that has crime of some sort. Yes we have a lot of burglaries and the murder statistics arent that great but 99.9%of the murders in this country is gang related and tourists are not affected. This should not scare people in to not visiting this wonderful country.

We have the most beautiful oceans and coastlines in the world. Our marine life is diverse and you can swim with a great white shark or even tickle a crocodile's tummy if you wish.

Our wildlife is diverse and you can see the big 5 anywhere in the country. The people are amazing no matter where you go you will be greeted with a smile and people will help where ever they can.

Some tips to stay crime free and safe in sa.

1. Dont look like a tourist - if possible avoid cameras around your neck try to blend in.

2. Dont carry large amounts of cash on your person and if you have to dont flash your money in public - this can make you a target easily. Rather carry a small amount of cash in a wallet that you can take out without looking obvious.

3. When driving lock all your doors and dont let valueble items lie around in your car- lock everything in the trunk. If you are lost go to the nearest gas station there is usually a map of the area and the staff are always keen to help with directions. You might encounter street vendors at some intersections just keep your windows closed and dont make eye contact with them they will soon move on but they can be very persistant.

4.Dont visit townships like Soweto on your own rather go with an organised tour group.

5. Before going out at night ask the hotel or guesthouse if it is safe to do so and where they recommend you go. In Gauteng there are shuttle services available to the entertainment complexes at Carnival city, Emperors palace Sun City and Gold Reef city -ask at your hotel they can arrange safe transport for you.

6. Never give money to street children or beggars. Unfortuanatly they have mastered the art of looking hungry and you instantly feel sorry for them. There are shelters and homes available for these children in all the major cities but they choose not to go there because of drug abuse so you will only be aiding their drug habit.

7. Avoid atms during night times and use atms in shopping centres or at banks - try and avoid atms that have lots of people loitering around and if anyone should jump in front of you offering help just firmly say no thank you take your card and walk away this is a big scam in sa. They offer to help but obtain your pin and swop your card with out you noticing it. South Africa is big on credit cards and debit cards and all the big names are accepted here so dont worry to much about atms.

8. Leave your valuble jewelry at home. If you are wearing lots of gold chains and rings it is asumed that you are rich and it might make you a target - we have loads of diamonds and gold here rather come and buy some..

9. Our public transport is not tourist friendly at all. If you are not sure go to any travel agent or ask at your hotel and they will suggest a trustworthy taxi service or shuttle. NEVER get into a minbus taxi. This is not a safe matter or transportion. You might get misunderstood and you will be dropped of at a destination 600kms from where you wanted to be.

10. Jhb is not a bad place but certain areas in jhb should be avoided. Never under any circumstances go or venture near Hillbrow. This is the crime, rape, drug, murder hot spot of Gauteng. JHB is a very big city and you will be safe in most areas.

11. Plan and get a good guide to accompany you through our country. We have so much to offer and by getting a guide you will not miss out on any or the treats this country has to offer you.

Im just writing this as info you all probably know things like this. Come and enjoy this great country of mine im proudly South African.
Martiee is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2007, 11:05 AM
  #22  
 
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Seems to be some conflicting advice here. On one hand we are told that tourists are not targeted and are very safe and then that tourists should make an effort not to look like tourists. If tourists are really safer than normal South Africans, then normal South Africans should dress like tourists.
tuckeg is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2007, 12:16 PM
  #23  
 
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I think it is pretty sensible to try to not stand out of the crowd wherever one is.
Mohammed is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2007, 12:47 PM
  #24  
 
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Well said Tuckeg

I spent 27 years in South Africa and have to agree with Tuckeg and laguna.I honestly think Selwyn is delusional about the crime situation in South Africa but then again his business depends on his''positve'' outlook.

I have worked in townships for more than five years and have seen more violent crimes than most.On any given night there would be at least 5 rape victims,6 gunshot wounds and at least 6 penetrating chest injuries.This is of course much different than the paradise township Selwyn visits.On my first night as an intern I inserted 7 intercostal drains for stabbed chest injuries.I suppose this exactly matches the record of any Canadian intern on their first night.-seeing that South Africa is no different than anywhere else.

South Africa is a mess and if the South Africans keep denying it they are no better than Zimbabwe.

I am selling my house there and will be moving my mom over to Canada to live her last years in a country that values human life.

I really enjoyed Martiee's comment about JHB.Don't go to Hillbrow! as this is the rape and murder capital of JHB,BUT what she forgot to tell you is that Hillbrow and oh! so safe Sandton is what?...a ten minute drive apart?????.I suppose the criminals do not cross these imaginary borders?????

My only remaining wish is that I can also bring our beloved domestic worker and her family to Canada.

Selwyn,I expect to be called racist again,as this has been your only pathetic defense in the past.

safarinut is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2007, 01:41 PM
  #25  
 
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"3. When driving lock all your doors..."

The following was told to me by a Joburg guesthouse owner:

- Never hear loud music in your car or use your iPod - always be aware what is happening around the car.

- Never get your car in a situation where you can't drive away quickly, e.g. keep enough distance to other cars in traffic jams or in front of robots, and always keep the car in street direction when waiting in front of closed property entrances.
nyama is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2007, 01:42 PM
  #26  
 
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safarinut,

May I point out a huge error in your mail in that you are 100% incorrect in saying that I need to promote SA to maintain my business. I am most certainly not dependent on my business at all and do not need to maintain it. I have been formally retired for the past 13 years and have been tourguiding in SA for the past 10 years for fun as well as to try and help build my country. If my business had to close down tomorrow morning it would have absolutely no effect on me financially. Where it would have effect is on fellow South Africans (you know the sort of people who live in the paradise townships that I work in <sic> ) whom I help through my tourguiding and that truly would be a pity.

As far as I am concerned the rest of your mail does not warrant answering as I have answered all that you speak of in past Fodors threads already. Thus if you are so keen to find out more from me just use the Fodors search function to find your answers.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa


Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2007, 01:55 PM
  #27  
 
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<<- Never hear loud music in your car or use your iPod - always be aware what is happening around the car.

- Never get your car in a situation where you can't drive away quickly, e.g. keep enough distance to other cars in traffic jams or in front of robots, and always keep the car in street direction when waiting in front of closed property entrances>>

THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT WE DO IN CANADA SEEING THAT SOUTH AFRICA IS NO DIFFERENT THAN ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD.

Good for you Selwyn!!!

Let me see you now giving everything you earn through your ''fun'' business to your beloved township-because...you apparently don't need your ''business'' for financial reasons.You can still have alot of ''fun'' !!!???

Good night my friend and...remember to lock your doors and set your alarm.
safarinut is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2007, 02:18 PM
  #28  
 
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Safarinut,

Quite right. Close on to 60% of my profits go to community projects in Kayamandi with particular emphasis on education. I earn more for the folk in the township than I do for my own self.

Sorry cant comply fully with your request in that I dont have an alarm and the only doors that I lock are my car door and home front door. I suppose you leave your doors open at night in Canada and if that is the case good for you. My suggestion is stay there and enjoy the pleasure.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa




Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2007, 02:21 PM
  #29  
 
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I'm bored with this.

it's obvious that SA has a higher crime rate than many other places, but equally obvious that the vast majority of tourists are unaffected by this.

I have locked my car doors driving through Brixton, [south london], and been "dipped" on the tube. did I stop going to London?

I managed to spend 12 days and nights in SA completely unscathed. Do i think that sa's crime rate is better than london's?

am i going to stop going to Italy or the US because an english student was recently murdered there and one of the suspects is american?

in New York, am i going to walk through central park at night?

let's all use some common sense.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2007, 02:28 PM
  #30  
 
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Well said Ann.

Hope you come back to visit us one day.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2007, 02:41 PM
  #31  
 
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I am staying and yes,you are right,I am enjoying every minute of it.

Why only 60%???-wont it be more ''fun'' to give 100%????

Good night and don't forget to lock your front door...and oh! your car.
safarinut is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2007, 08:00 PM
  #32  
 
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I said the same thing as annhig in my first response to the OP. SA's crime statistics are high but that I still recommend tourists travel there and that the OP should go. Funny how Selwyn disagreed with me and agreed with annhig.
tuckeg is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2007, 09:36 PM
  #33  
 
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Ann,

RE central park at night is safe if you stick to the outer perimeter (6 mile loop). People run in the dark all the time.

Hari
HariS is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2007, 10:02 PM
  #34  
 
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Tuckeg,

I most certainly did not disagree with you regarding your suggestions re visitors travelling to SA. What I disagreed with is your blind usage and following of whatever stats you see. All you do is quote what others say and I take issue with this mechanism of helping others with advice. If you could not access the first link I sent you then go to http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_i...0502373C230866 where you will see that Danny Jordaan is saying the EXACT OPPOSITE to what you have quoted in this thread not that I believe that Danny Jordaan is an authority to follow anyway.

In the tourguide world we would label you "a regurgitator" in that it seems as if all that you ever do is quote other peoples stats or reports without any form of analysis or description. I most definitely disagree with this manner of distributing information and that is all that I disagreed with as far as you are concerned in this thread. My thoughts have not changed.

Hope this clears things up from my point of view.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2007, 10:40 PM
  #35  
 
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Selwyn,

Your reading comprehension is very poor (of course I knew that from a previous thread where you embarassingly confused two posters even after many people tried to tell you you were wrong). I did not indicate Jordaan said anything about a danger to tourists. Here is what I said:

"Danny Jordaan, CEO of the 2010 World Cup recently discussed the crime issue and used the following 2006 statistics from Interpol for Murder rate/100,000 population:
Japan: 1.05
Great Britian: 1.65
Canada: 4
USA 5.61
South Africa: 40.5"

Now how does the article you quoted show "Danny Jordaan is saying the EXACT OPPOSITE" of what I said?

The latest murder rates clearly show (and you can't "analyze" your way out of this) that the posters before me who said crime in South Africa was like anywhere else in the world were incorrect. How can you say that a country that has a murder rate 8 to 40 times that of those countries where most tourists are coming doesn't have a crime problem? Do you think that nuclear power facilities in other countries are attacked by armed gangs of robbers:

http://allafrica.com/stories/200711140098.html

Since you choose to label me, I will label you, you are what we call an ostrich. I can imagine you on the Titanic telling all who would listen that those giving statistics on how much the water had risen were regurgitators and you had analysed the situtation and all was well.

I can imagine you on the Titanic telling all who would listen that those giving statistics on how much the water had risen were regurgitators and you had analysed the situtation and all was well.

The only thing that makes me regurgitate is some of your views on crime in South Africa.

Tuckeg
tuckeg is offline  
Old Nov 18th, 2007, 12:34 AM
  #36  
 
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I live in Johannesburg and have been following this thread with some interest.
I do not wish to prescribe to anyone on whether or not they wish to visit South Africa (a beautiful and wonderful place).
However, for me (and regardless of the country involved) it always comes down to one simple question: Do you wish to holiday in a place where you are always distrustful of the people you meet and alert to becoming a victim of crime?
The above question should be read in connection to Johannesburg. I cannot speak for Cape Town (which some people say isn't really part of Africa -- Time magazine, Nov 19 2007) but when I am there I do feel safer and could happily live there. This might explain the correspondence from the gentleman in Cape Town.
Finally, you shouldn't read too much into the crime stats because a lot of the crime is committed in areas you will not be visiting (ie black townships).
JoeJ is offline  
Old Nov 18th, 2007, 06:13 AM
  #37  
 
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Ostrich....,well maybe,but his thoughts on the crime situation makes me think about the fellow governing a country just north of South Africa-unable to admit that we have a serious problem.

Selwyn has a good heart and is doing alot to help build the new South Africa,but his inability to admit to the crime situation is just shocking.

Yes,go and visit South Africa,one of the most beautiful places on earth,most of you will return home safe-just know you are visiting one of the most dangerous and violent countries in the world.
safarinut is offline  
Old Nov 18th, 2007, 08:32 AM
  #38  
 
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Heres my two line final response to the ORIGINAL QUESTION of this thread because that is what this issue is supposed to be all about:

Anita19,

In answer to your question I believe that if you visit SA you will not find it to be dangerous nor will you have any problem with regard to crime thus making your visit to our shores a wonderful vacation in total safety for you and your son.

Hope that you do visit us and that you enjoy your stay in SA.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa




Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Old Nov 18th, 2007, 08:34 AM
  #39  
 
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Anita - where will you be visiting? Will you spend your time in Jo'burg? If you will land there and almost immediately (read within 24 hours) head out on safari then all this ridiculous argument is completely beside the point. How much crime happens in the lodges?

Tuckeg and Selwyn, you guys need to drop it - this same argument comes up in every posting about SA.

Anita - safety is not guaranteed anywhere in the world - just take a look on the Europe forum where folks worry too. Just take the same reasonable precautions you would any time you travel and have a great trip.
Momliz is offline  
Old Nov 18th, 2007, 08:40 AM
  #40  
 
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Momliz,

You are quite correct in your advice to "drop it" and if you look at my last mail you will see that via the words "final response" I have done just that.

Thanks for the good suggestion. Appreciated.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  

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