The official government site of the United States of America has updated its travel advisories for its citizens who plan to travel to South Africa. The advisory was published just as South Africa’s annual crime statistics were released, and warns of the many different kinds of violent crime in South Africa.
“Exercise increased caution in South Africa due to crime, civil unrest, and drought,” the advisory reads. “Violent crime, such as armed robbery, rape, carjacking, mugging, and “smash-and-grab” attacks on vehicles, is common. There is a higher risk of violent crime in the central business districts of major cities after dark.”
The advisory also states that demonstrations and protests are prevalent in the country, and that these often turn violent. “Demonstrations, protests, and strikes occur frequently. These can develop quickly without prior notification, often interrupting traffic, transportation, and other services; such events have the potential to turn violent.”
The country is also categorized as a “Level 2” country, meaning that extreme caution must be exercised, and also warns of the water restrictions in place in several parts of the country.
“South Africa’s Western, Eastern, and Northern Cape Provinces are experiencing a severe drought. Water restrictions in Cape Town, which limit household water use to 50 liters per person per day, remain in effect. Water supplies in some other areas may also be affected.”
On a separate page focuses on safety and security, the US government has also warned about the possibility of terror attacks in the country.
“South Africa’s link to international terrorism has historically been through recruiting and funding,” the advisory read. “In 2018, South African authorities arrested suspected ISIS sympathizers in connection with the disappearance of two British citizens in KwaZulu Natal.”
The following tips have also advised for those travelling to South Africa:
– Avoid walking alone, especially after dark.
– Avoid visiting informal settlement areas unless you are with someone familiar with the area.
– Do not display cash or valuables.
– Drive with doors locked and windows closed.
– Always carry a copy of your U.S. passport and visa (if applicable). Keep original documents in a secure location.
– Conserve water and follow local guidance on water use for tourist.