Goal.com Traveller’s Guide To South Africa: Crime And Safety

It’s actually very difficult to get an objective view on crime and safety in South Africa. As with many subjects, it depends on the perceptions of the individual as to what sort of report you’re going to get. And those reports will range from the hysteria of the ex-pat in Perth to the firmly-staying-put South African ostrich with his head in the sand pretending everything is peachy.
The imminent arrival of the FIFA World Cup has not only increased the discussion around this issue, it has further polarised the differing viewpoints.

But, you may be surprised to learn, neither of these extremes is actually the case.

Here at 6000 miles… we’ve always taken the more sensible middle-of-the-road route. Yes, there is a problem, but that doesn’t mean that you’re going to get raped, murdered, robbed, mugged or anything else while you’re here in South Africa. 
It’s actually not the crime that is the real problem when discussing crime – it’s the perception of the crime: 

The United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute have conducted research on the victims of crime in the country, which shows the picture of South African crime as more typical of a developing country.
These statistics show that South Africa has lower rates of violent crime than most African and South American countries, but due to the fact that South Africa is often compared to the developed world, the crime rate is considered high when measured against the likes of England, the US, Italy, Germany and other first world countries.

And at last, it seems that some sort of reasonable voice has made it into the media ahead of the World Cup in the form of Goal.com’s Traveller’s Guide to South Africa: Crime and Safety. It’s like a longer and more detailed version of the infamous Big South African Crime Post of almost three years ago.
And I can’t find fault with it at all.

In the lead up to the World Cup, I’m going to be doing a number of posts on what to expect when visiting South Africa, but goal.com’s Peter Pedroncelli has saved me the job on the whole safety and security issue. Thanks, Pete.

If you’re coming for the World Cup (or even if you’re not) read it and get a dose of reality.

UPDATE: More sense from Andrew Harding.

One thought on “Goal.com Traveller’s Guide To South Africa: Crime And Safety

  1. Walked around the urban park, stadium, waterfront and cbd a few days ago without feeling threatened.

    Having spoken to volunteers in Khayelitsha, and having family in Mitchell’s Plain, they too say everything is exaggerated. Yes, those areas have higher crime rates, gangs, social problems etc. but I have cousins living there who have used both private and public transport to and from Mitchell’s Plain for years, with only minor incidents. Some have even gone as far as saying that the crime statistics produced do not match the reality on the ground.

    Its very difficult for authorities to prevent crimes that take place in homes, within families, between relatives etc. where many problems stem from drugs, alcohol and other forms of abuse. Dealing with these issues will go some way to create safer communities. These have been focus areas for the Platozille administration, different to those before them, who preferred only dealing with the aftermath.

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