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How Safe Is Johannesburg

How Safe Is Johannesburg

Old May 23rd 2007, 11:17 am
Richard & Barbara
Posts: n/a
Default How Safe Is Johannesburg

Reading the information about Johnnesburg has raised safety concerns. May
I get opinions as to whether crime in Johannesburg is worse than in other
major cities?


Old May 23rd 2007, 7:27 pm
Marc Lurie
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How Safe Is Johannesburg

Hi Barbara,

I live in Johannesburg, so I am in a position to address your

This question is often asked of me, and the answer is not a simple

1) When Europeans and Americans talk about "Johannesburg" they are
usually thinking about downtown. When Johannesburgers or other South
Africans talk about "Johannesburg" they are referring to the huge
urban and suburban sprawl that includes other cities of Sandton,
Kempton Park, Soweto, etc. (The Greater Johannesburg area). When I say
I live "in" Johannesburg, I mean that I live about 10miles north east
of the city centre where crime levels are an order of magnitude lower
than in some other areas. I have never personally been a victim of
crime (never been mugged or attacked or hijacked) but I have had
attempted burglaries from my house, a few smashed windows and stolen
handbags, break-in's in cars over the years, but this happens in every

2) As with any big city there are dangerous areas. Parts of downtown
Joburg, Hillbrow, Berea, and Yeoville are dangerous, particularly for
tourists. Fortunately there is little reason for you to go near these
places (unless you're looking for drugs or hookers ;-)

3) The greater Joburg area does have a higher crime level than most
big cities, however using your common sense you will almost certainly
not be affected if you are here for a short period, particularly if
you're staying in a Sandton hotel, you're visiting some of the big
tourist attractions, and you don't travel alone at night... the usual
"big city" recomendations. There is a lot of petty crime such as theft
from cars, theft at ATM's, smash-and-grab crime etc. so be vigillant
when walking around or driving, and never leave anything of value
exposed in your car. Be very vigilant at ATM's where people might
watch you and follow you to mug you, or more commonly distract you and
grab your money or swap your card. As a tourist, be vigilant of your
belongings. Your wallet, bags, cameras, etc. will go missing very
quickly if you're not careful.

4) I'm not saying that Johannesburg is a safe place. Many of my
friends and colleagues have been affected, and crime is probably our
biggest single problem here. However I must say that I have hosted or
assisted dozens of visitors here (I'm NOT in the hospitality or
tourism industry, just a proud South African who wants to see visitors
have a good time here) and none of them have had any problems with
crime. Like any city, if you're in the wrong place at the wrong time,
you WILL find trouble.

When are you coming to Johannesburg, and for how long? I can make
recomendations on places to stay, things to do etc.


On Wed, 23 May 2007 19:17:19 -0400, "Richard & Barbara"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>Reading the information about Johnnesburg has raised safety concerns. May
>I get opinions as to whether crime in Johannesburg is worse than in other
>major cities?

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