British media cautions travellers to South Africa

Friday, June 11, 2010

JOHANNESBURG - The World Cup football euphoria might be pitch high but the visitors to South Africa have been asked to be cautious because of high level of crime in the country.

Theft, including that of passports, is common, particularly at travel terminals. The majority of violent offences, however, take place away from the tourist spots, in townships and isolated areas.

The Telegraph, London, in fact, has advised the British tourists to be careful with their posessions and to keep valuables out of sight and in hand luggage wherever possible, and carry photocopies of their passport.

“In recent years a number of cases have been reported of criminals following tourists by car from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg to their destination, and robbing them - sometimes at gunpoint - on their arrival. Visitors are advised to be vigilant when leaving the airport,” the Telegraph reported.

“Sexual assault, including rape, is not uncommon in the country. Taking into consideration the high level of HIV/Aids in South Africa, anyone who is the victim of sexual assault or other injuries should see a doctor immediately.”

Following the deaths of three British students in a bus crash in South Africa, the Foreign Office has advised the British holidaymakers to be careful while commuting between cities calling the standard of driving in South Africa “variable”.

The drivers have been asked to be careful from thieves, particularly in rural areas and after dark, as they use a variety of methods to make a vehicle stop, including the placing of large rocks in the middle of the road, so that they can rob the driver.

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