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Crime/Safety: Cape Town & South Africa??!!

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From the New York Times today, they had this headline: “As Gang Murders Surge, South Africa Sends Army to Cape Town” with these highlights: “It was like a scene from the apartheid days: a military unit with armored trucks and assault rifles patrolling the streets of a South African township.  But as soldiers arrived in Mitchells Plain, an impoverished suburb outside Cape Town, people did not hide inside or erupt in protest.  Instead, residents rushed from their homes to welcome the troops, who were sent in last month to quell an extraordinarily bloody spate of gang violence and have remained in the area ever since.  Cape Town, widely known as a tourist destination for its historical sites and natural beauty, has become one of the world’s most dangerous cities. The police recorded more than 2,800 murders in 2018, and its homicide rate — about 66 killings per 100,000 people — is surpassed by only the most violent cities in Latin America.  Trying to stanch the bloodshed, President Cyril Ramaphosa ordered the military intervention on July 12.”


Not good news for either Cape Town or South Africa.  Do any either there in South Africa and/or recent visitors have any better insights and background?   Don't know how much is a problem in the townships versus in the main tourist areas of Cape Town. Sad!


Full story at:



THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio


AFRICA?!!?: Fun, interesting visuals, plus travel details from this early 2016 live/blog. At 46,571 views. Featuring Cape Town, South Africa’s coast, Mozambique, Victoria Falls/Zambia and Botswana's famed Okavango Delta.


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Thanks Terry. I don’t think the crackdown on gang violence has a great deal of significance for tourists. On our six extended visits to South Africa, as independent travellers, we have always heeded the advice of our hosts in b&bs. They know the local intelligence and it’s in their interests to keep their guests safe. Needless to say we never venture near townships, although when we drive between Hout Bay and Franschhoek we pass quite close to Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha.

Taking simple precautions, as you would in any city, and being alert will serve the tourist well. We undaunted and are planning our next visit to the Cape along with a visit to Durban, St. Lucia and a safari in the Hluhluwe–iMfolozi National Park.

Edited by Omega1

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Mitchell’s Plain has been one of the most notoriously crime-ridden townships on the Cape Flats for many years. Perhaps some of the township tours go there, but reputable operators would know if it was safe to take tourists in. It’s probably 20 miles from the tourist centre of Cape Town. Important to realise, without understating the security issues in the centre of the City, that these sort of crime figures usually include the Flats townships, where most of the Cape Town population live, not the small part of the city that most visitors think of as ‘Cape Town’ . 

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