Safety in South Africa

Crime in South Africa could be a problem and the country is seen by most people as dangerous. However, all you really need to do is take the usual sensible precautions and follow some basic safety rules.
Lock your doors at night, don’t walk in dodgy areas alone, watch your possessions and know where you are going when you are going out, especially at night.
Like every major city in the world, there are areas that are known to be less safe than others. It is easy to avoid these areas. When you can’t avoid these areas, then it is advised not to wear any visible jewelry or camera’s. Keep your mobile phones and wallets tucked away where no one can see them. You can check beforehand if the areas you wish to visit are safe by asking hotel staff or the police.

- Vehicle safety
When driving a car in South Africa, take some simple precautions to avoid car hijackings or ‘smash-and-grabs’. As the driver you should be alert at traffic lights and at stop signs. Also be alert when leaving or arriving at premises. Always lock you cars and keep your valuables in the boot where they are not visible from the outside.
When you are parking your car at night, make sure the parking area is well-lit or security-patrolled. Street guards will usually ask you if they can watch your car for you, in return you should give them a small tip.
- ATM safety
When using automatic teller machines (ATMs) in South Africa, practice the generally accepted safety precautions you would employ when at home. Never accept an offer from a stranger to help you with your transaction. If your ATM card is withheld by the machine, you can approach the bank to release it, or call the helpline number that can be found at the ATM.
- Lost passports
In case you lose your passport, report the loss as soon as possible to the South African Police Service, as well as to your country’s embassy or consulate in South Africa.