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World Cup Safety Guidelines


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Hi guys

I thought I would add some safety guidelines, for those of you that will be travelling to South Africa. Please read, and ensure that you are know everything you need to know.

There is crime, but by keeping to your schedule, and by staying in groups will ensure that you will have a pleasant stay.

this is in no way, intended to worry you guys. However, please ensure all necessary steps are in place, and that you follow any safety tips given to you

Enjoy and have fun


Much has been said about crime in South Africa in the run-up to World Cup. While some of it may be true, it is patently false to claim that most travellers will be endangered during their stay.

By following common sense principles - as one would do when visiting any new country - you can enjoy a crime free World Cup. Remember, there will also be thousands of additional security personnel deployed around stadia and other strategic areas. Follow our advice below:


Airports are one of the most common places to get in trouble as you are often distracted and tired. Make sure you keep your bags with you and only accept help is the person is from an airport company or airline. Never take cabs that have been recommended by people standing outside the airport terminal. They will often charge too much or not take you to the correct destination.


You need to take into account that the focus of crime in South Africa is seldom on tourists, but we suggest you do not venture into unsafe places, particularly at night. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and be vigilant. Do not carry expensive equipment like digital cameras visibly. Don't wear lots of expensive jewellery. Make sure your passport is safe and not in your backpack when walking around public places.

Try and keep a backup credit card and cash in a safe at the place you are staying.

When travelling within South Africa ensure you have a map and avoid travelling in the dark. It is best to be a member of the AA (breakdown backup) if you are using your own car or a borrowed car. If you have a rental car make sure you have their number with you. Drive with your doors locked and do not wind down windows to give money to beggars or anyone attempting to attract your attention at traffic lights and intersections. Do not stop to assist “broken-down” drivers or people holding out petrol cans etc.

The blood alcohol limit is 0.05 % - two beers is about the average for a male to at the legal limit! Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a criminal offence and convicted drivers could have their driver’s license suspended for six months or face up to six years in jail! Spending a night in a South African jail could be a horrendous experience, so please use public transport or taxis if you are out drinking.

You can get a South Africa SIM card for your cell phone for about R5, and if your phone is locked you can get it unlocked for about R200. It is always wise to keep a cell phone with you while travelling.


There are numerous ATM locations in the major cities of South Africa, but fewer in regional and rural areas. Be careful when at ATM's and do not accept help from strangers. Try to use an ATM in a highly visible location, such as banks, shops and shopping centres. Avoid ATMs that open onto the street. You should keep withdrawals from ATMs to a minimum and refuse offers of help at ATMs. Make sure no one is trying to look over your shoulder while you key in your PIN.

Credit card fraud has been a problem in South Africa, as mobile phones and card skimmers have been used to copy credit card details. Never let your Credit Card out of your sight. In restaurants, the staff will bring a mobile terminal to your table and process the transaction in front of you. If they do not have one, accompany the waitron to the pay point and watch your card carefully at all times.

It is best to carry a back up credit card, that you leave in your hotel safe along with your passports and any other valuables. If your card is stolen, it is vital to cancel it immediately. Secure all ATM and credit card payment slips. Write the contact number for your banks in the personal form on page 75 of this document.

Below are numbers to report lost or stolen bank cards from within South Africa. These operate 24/7.

Visa – Toll Free from within South Africa: ( 0800-990-475

MasterCard - Toll Free from within South Africa: ( 0800-990-418

Amex - Toll Free from within South Africa: ( 0800 110 929

Diners Club - Toll Free from within South Africa: ( 0860-DINERS


Please read the General Safety advice in Section 2.5.1 and 2.5.2. Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban have a very vibrant club scene catering to all types and tastes.

Frequent clubs and bars in popular areas rather than venturing into the dark back streets. Try to walk in a group of people, even in busier areas, and never walk city streets alone at night. Do not keep your wallet or mobile phone in a back pocket or unattended handbag. Rather use a money belt. Observe our advice on paying by credit card in section 2.4.3

We advise against anyone venturing into townships (informal settlements around cities) at night. Remember also that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not tolerated – two beers is the maximum an average male can drink before reaching the legal blood alcohol limit of 0.05 %.

You will find our great advice on clubs, bars and restaurants in the City Guides in Section 4.

2.5.5 HIV/AIDS

HIV/Aids is prevalent in Southern Africa and it is best to be informed and protect yourself. When having sex always use a condom and avoid having unprotected oral sex. If you are treating wounds always use medical gloves. Do not share razors, needles or anything else that has drawn blood or been exposed to blood. There is a lot of information available so make sure you are informed and aware. South Africa provides free condoms in most public paces but it is safer to use a recognized brand.

Never have sex with prostitutes who walk the streets – this is where you are most likely to contract a disease. If using the services of sex workers, ensure that you are visiting a clean venue where the workers are regularly tested for STD’s and HIV.


(Updated 07 April 2010) Much has been written about crime in South Africa following the brutal murder of a notorious ultra right wing white leader, Eugene Terre'Blanche, over the Easter weekend. It would be spurious to claim that racial harmony has not been damaged as a result of this attack by his own workers. However, some foreign media have posted articles in the past days that were grossly misleading, such as a UK tabloid, whose hysterical headline screamed "Murder 'could spark race war at the World Cup'".

Of course, the insensitive and racially-charged ranting and ravings of Julius Malema - a rather boorish but politically powerful firebrand in South Africa - has further stoked the media frenzy over safety concerns in the country. The bottom line is that South Africa has risen above worse racial rhetoric and tension in the past, and will again shake off attempts at racial polarisation through the thoughtless words of a few fools.

The overwhelming majority of South Africans are decent law abiding citizens who wish to get on with their lives and celebrate the World Cup with fans from all over the world. Racial confrontations and tension on the streets, in bars and restaurants do not occur and the country is possibly one of the most culturally tolerant societies in the world. Furthermore, let us not forget the power that sport has to unite citizens.

However, crime does occur, but it does not mean that it is racially based! Stick to our safety guidelines in this section and you should certainly enjoy a peaceful World Cup.

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