Criminal activity in South Africa is high and includes both violent and non-violent crime. Crime increases in areas towards the outskirts of major cities, but a risk is still present in city centres, including public transport and areas where large crowd gathers.
Airport scams and theft of baggage are common at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. Scams involving card skimming and credit card fraud are also prevalent. Criminals will target individuals who have their valuables on display and show signs of wealth.
Traveling by road in South Africa is medium to high risk. The standard of driving varies throughout the region and drivers can lack discipline. Road traffic laws are not routinely enforced, and many rules are ignored, resulting in an increased risk of Road Traffic Collisions (RTCs). RTCs are common in South Africa with the death toll reported as higher than average in comparison to the wider African region and world averages.
Vehicle hi-jackings and robberies are common, especially during the hours of darkness. Criminal gangs operate in areas where traffic is likely to slow or stop, for example, at traffic lights and road traffic junctions. Armed violence will be used if not compliant with the attackers. Avoid traveling alone, especially during the evenings. Road conditions are generally very good, but some rural roads are less maintained and may contain large potholes and poor surface structure.
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