Safety in South Africa
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Oct 28, 2012 2:03 PM Last Post By: RudiK
Oct 27, 2012 5:10 AM
Safety in South AfricaHere is my version on the very much talked about subject. During our visit to SA we have visited three town ships and talked to a lot of people in the township and a lot of tour guides. You can do almost any township on your own and be perfectly safe. You don't need a guided tour for safety issues!
When talking to white South africans its a completely different story. For most of them townships are seen as dangerous places. When you talk to them more - most of them have never even been to a township! There seems to be some kind of Post Apartheid Paranoia among these people. Everyone is afraid of everything - it's really crazy!
The same goes for central Johannesburg. You actually see lone women walking on rather deserted streets wearing their handbags. That says a lot about the safety issue. Media tend to focus a lot on security problems but it's really not more dangerous than any other city of its size.
So please! Stop beeing paranoid!
Oct 27, 2012 8:32 AM
1just wearing their handbags. sounds fabulous. get me on the next plane. though to be serious i think when your times up it's up. most cities have their dodgy area and if you look a bit out of place you're more of a target. i was taken by friends to a township in capetown a few years ago and it was a fantastic experience. if you live life looking over your shoulder you'll experience nothing
Oct 27, 2012 11:29 AM
2In three years in SA I only had good experiences, also visiting townships by myself, central Joburg at night and the infamous Hillbrow district a few times. That said, the SA crime statistics are not fiction, and you could get unlucky. Be informed, be careful and you should have a great time. I found South Africans of all colours quite welcoming.
Oct 27, 2012 12:07 PM
Oct 28, 2012 7:10 AM
4The crime statistics are there,but very few of the victims are tourists.
I tend to agree with the OP....dangers are greatly exaggerated by white South Africans,very few of whom have any first hand knowledge of townships,public transport or any other aspect of the lives of the majority of their fellow countrymen.
Oct 28, 2012 8:57 AM
Oct 28, 2012 1:47 PM
6Here's an interesting paradox: Cape Town is statistically the more 'dangerous' city, with many more murders than Johannesburg, yet Joburg is the city that many foreigners avoid for exactly that reason. (The difference of course is that CT manages to keep its city centre clean and relatively safer).
When living in Joburg I often joined city centre tours by pastexperiences.co.za, and I was very surprised to be one of the few foreigners; many people on the tours lived in the suburbs and didn't really have a reason to come to the city centre for many years. My impression from talking to the locals is that Joburg has improved a lot over the past 5-10 years, with neighbourhood management schemes and clean-ups starting to work. It's well worth visiting if you like cities.
Oct 28, 2012 2:03 PM
7I have been taking visitors into the city centre of Johannesburg on day visits every so often for the past 9 years - friends and visitors from abroad. I stop and walk around with them in various parts of the city. I have lived in the suburbs for the past 40+ years and worked close to the city centre for more than half of that period. I have never felt unsafe there. When taking people to Soweto I always go with a Sowetan guide simply because I do not know my way around well enough not to get hopelessly lost. There too, I have never felt awkward or unsafe and the locals have always been very friendly. I do agree with Thee that many white South Africans are paranoid, but not all of us are like that.
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