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Jo'burg safer than Washington, Detroit, Miami and Cape Town


Jun 19th, 2003, 10:25 AM
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Jo'burg safer than Washington, Detroit, Miami and Cape Town

FYI . . .

Washington, Detroit, Miami and Cape Town are all more dangerous than Johannesburg.

Johannesburg now occupies fifth place after these cities in a global survey on violent crime which was conducted by a medical researcher from a trauma unit in Cape Town.

The good news is that a whopping 92 percent of people interviewed in a perception survey done by Business Against Crime (BAC) would now consider relocating to, or investing in, the Johannesburg inner city.

Just two years ago, in a similar survey, 50 percent of respondents said they would never consider investing in the CBD.

Announcing these figures on Wednesday, BAC managing director John Penberthy said as a result of the many city regeneration projects, people's perception of the area had improved considerably.

The survey found that 82 percent of people held a positive outlook of the city.

A total of 72 percent of the respondents said the CBD could become a great world city. - Daily News Correspondent

This article was originally published on page 3 of The Daily News on June 19, 2003
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Jun 19th, 2003, 10:44 AM
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Interesting, Owl, but why is a trauma center qualified to collect and analyze what are baciscally crime statistics? If the trauma staffer discussed injury stats, treatment and recovery, and long-term effcts, that night be newsworthy as well as reliable. But to deal in "perception surveys" seems rather far afield and far fetched.

Anyone who has traveled through J'Burg will recall that every housing development was ringed by walls, fencing and barbed wire. And that hotels, etc. have literally fled the CBD for Rosebank and other outlying areas. No aspersions on J'Burg, but some of us have been there, and seen the crowds on the streets and the fences to separate masses of people from other residents. This you do not see in the US cities you name.
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Jun 19th, 2003, 10:52 AM
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Thanks for the note. A point of clarification: I just posted as an FYI of an article in the Daily News. I'm just adding to the mix, not endorsing the claims or methods used.
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Jun 19th, 2003, 11:07 AM
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Yes, thanks. Interesting survey.
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Jun 22nd, 2003, 12:56 AM
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I was very upset to hear all the talk of crime in SA that I guess peaked.... 4-5 yrs ago? I was there in the 1980's and dont recall that being the case. I want to come back to SA, but all this talk of barbed wire and such gives one pause to say the least. Last time I was there I only feared Spiders
On the opposite side of the spectrum I'm also going back to Australia next year and its as if they've no crime {compared to the US} to speak of based on what I'm finding out.

I did recently talk with someone on a plane who'd been to SA in 2000 and the tour group was told to bring two credit cards with them, leave one in the hotel room and carry the other and expect to be robbed of it! Fortunately that didnt happen, but one person was robbed of an ATM card in of all places, Stellenbosch!

I dont know if the crime would keep me from coming back... it probably wouldn't, but I certainly wouldn't want to see Constantia looking like a prison camp either or what had been pleasant memories suddenly sheathed in barbed wire and the like. I certainly hope things get better.
Jon-Eric, New Orleans, La.
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Jun 22nd, 2003, 02:53 AM
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In my opinion Surfer makes an excellent point with regard to the validity of so called "perception surveys". With that said may I point out that John Penberthy was appointed in Cape Town to do a similar job for our city about 5 years ago. 2 years ago he left Cape Town to supposedly do the same job for Johannesburg. Quite an efficient character in terms of turning things around methinks.. :-< ..:-<.

My own take on the report is that Penberthy is a fulfilling his new role for the city of Johannesburg to their satisfaction. With that said I also feel that his official title should really be "champion spin doctor" and if I am incorrect in my assumption then I can only believe that he has a grudge against the Johannesburg barbed wire manufacturers and is trying to put them out of business..

Selwyn Davidowitz
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Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

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Jun 23rd, 2003, 12:11 AM
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It's called "How to Lie with Statistics". I have not seen the name John Penberthy anywhere - but maybe he is being a very effective PR man and staying totally out of the limelight. What you must remember is that Johannesburg (or Jozi to those of us who live here and love it) is a very unique animal. Yes, she has her problems and I've suggested to my boss that I can effectively work remotely out of Durban (he did not buy it ), but whether safer or more dangerous depends entirely on the measurement criteria used. In Jozi you definitely know that you are alive. No other city I have ever encountered is as varied, colourful, vibrant, tolerant and simply vibed.
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Jun 23rd, 2003, 08:09 AM
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I think the traveler should remember these things:

Lots of criminal gangs exist in Jo'burg, and their members kill and maim each other a lot.

There is a very lucrative car hijacking business that deals in BMW's and the like. The guys in this business often shoot their victims.

There are a lot of burglaries in Jo'burg.

Do the criminal gangs carry on their turf wars near hotels, game parks, and other places tourists frequent? No. Do the hijackers want subcompact rental cars? No. Do the burglars break into hotels? No.

Lots of the statistics just don't apply to a person in the country as a visitor.
That isn't to say I don't think crime is a problem, but I really don't think crime is a problem for the tourist.
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Jun 23rd, 2003, 11:20 AM
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Speaking on behalf of Tourists, and most especially Tourists who go to JNB feeling age 10 once more. Remember when all the adults had to say to us was "lock your door." OK, maybe it was age 8.

One morning, I'm at the Grace, and up pulls this silver Mercedes C-180, and I pinch myself - because yes, I have prevailed over that penny-pinching travel agent, and that bad boy, all 37 km on it, is mine, mine and all mine for ten days. New!! I am headed out N4 (or whatever) for Kruger, and I've called ahead to warn MalaMala to alert the animals not to scratch the car! I'm coming in.

I check the glove compartment - yes, the 400 page plus manual is at hand, for late night reading. I need to bone up on what this machine might be thinking. And I'm hoping for some last minute tips from the delivery guys, like, how do you fuel this baby? Is the release electric, and if so, where did they hid that switch.

And the luggage is on board, the guys have their tips, and I'm pulling away, and now feel a sudden onrush of questions about this beautiful silver thing.

But all I can recall is an almost universal last-minute plea to me - lock your doors, and get off the road before nightfall.

And we are off! Danger or not.
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