Anonymous asked in TravelAfrica & Middle EastSouth Africa · 1 decade ago

Hey South Africa Residents, does this web page over-exaggerate the dangers of South Africa?

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    In some aspects, yes, but in others, no. There was a case of xenophobia a while ago, but it was never targeted at Americans or tourists, more at people from other close African countries like Zimbabwe, and this was only due to the fact that, since the unemployment rate is rather high, some of the local people with low incomes felt threatened by the people crossing the borders illegally. They felt they were "stealing their job oppertunities". But that has been resolved quite a while ago.

    And yes, there are many poor people, but middle-class and wealthy people as well.

    The crime rate is high, granted, but it's not as unlivable the article makes it sound like. If you don't go around waving money in the air, showing off fancy jewelry or cellphones in public, walking alone at night in the streets, and you know which places to avoid, you should be fine. Some places are more dangerous than others, and you should avoid those places. I'd also say the best way to stay safe is to be alert, and to protect yourself with the use of locks, household-alarms, etc., and to know the basic safety rules that you'd use in any country (avoid strangers, don't leave little children unattended, draw attention to yourself if someone is threatening your personal space, etc.)

    Source(s): I've lived in South Africa my whole life, in various regions.
  • 1 decade ago

    I have lived here all my life (42 years). I'm just a normal average middle class white guy. I have never personally even seen a violent crime. In my entire family there has only been one incident when a cousin's cellphone was grabbed in the street in Pretoria - this was about ten years ago. She was not hurt at all.

    Crime does happen but its not in every street every day like some people claim. Just stay away from obviously dodgy places and situations. Political/economic protests and riots are not a spectator sport!

    Some of the crime information on the page is outdated - for example the gangs versus vigilante "wars" in the Western Cape have effectively been dealt with.

  • Helen
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Not really, except the countrywide xenophobia attacks were concentrated during a couple of months about a year ago and are now under control (touch wood). Americans were not targeted in the attacks, they were targeted at foreigners flooding in from other African countries that the local Africans believe are depriving them of jobs etc.

    When you live in a place, you know your way around and the dangers and what to watch out for. Foreign visitors are a softer target anywhere.

    I live here and I feel relatively safe here having taken the necessary precautions (private security etc for my home, avoid driving alone late at night etc). You will probably be fine if you visit here and take the necessary safety precautions but it would be unwise for anyone to guarantee your safety here or anywhere for that matter.

    Source(s): I am South African
  • 1 decade ago

    Most of it is correct except for a couple of points (from which I quoted from the text:

    1) "...although much of its population lives in poverty.":

    There is a high level of poverty in South Africa especially in the black community (because of the segregation during apartheid) but I do not think the majority of citizens live in extreme poverty.

    2)"Visitors and residents are advised of ongoing criminal activity involving organized crime gangs targeting individuals at shopping centers and other public places. Once a victim has been identified, he/she is followed back to his/her residence and robbed, usually at gunpoint, although the use of force is generally reserved for those offering some form of resistance.":

    Just because you carry around a cellphone and a wallet doesn't automatically mean you're gonna get robbed, its perfectly safe t travel with your belongings.

    There also no more electricity cuts by Eskom and the violence against foreigners has stopped.

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