Crime and Safety in Johannesburg

more than a year ago

Joburg can be the friendliest city. But, like its summer weather which switches suddenly from sunshine to a thunderstorm, it also has a tempestuous streak.

Be aware, rather than paranoid. Use your head, know where you’re going, and do not flash your cash or valuables around. Consult a local to get a head’s up, but walk away if they tell you that anywhere south of Sandton is a no-go area - you have chosen the wrong local. For a first encounter with the inner-city consider a guided walking tour or a trip on the City Sightseeing hop-on, hop-off Red Bus to get the lay of the land.

Some safety tips:

  • If you are staying in a hotel, lock up valuables in the room or hotel safe
  • When driving, always keep valuables in the boot of the car rather than on the passenger seat. Keep the windows up and the doors locked
  • Don’t leave valuable items visible in a parked car
  • Don’t stroll down a street talking on your cell phone
  • Pay attention to what is going on around you
  • Don’t show off expensive jewellery, watches or cameras
  • Never accept help from strangers at an ATM
  • Opt for using an ATM inside a bank or mall
  • Areas such as Alexandra, Hillbrow, Berea, Yeoville and Joubert Park should only be visited with a tour guide or an experienced local

Emergency numbers:

  • Police Dial 10111 to contact a national call centre that can assign a patrol vehicle to attend to a crime incident
  • Fire and ambulance Dial 10177 for emergency services
  • Cell phone networks Dial 112 from any cellphone to be connected to a 24-hour emergency service operator. This is a free call
  • Medical emergency Dial 082 911 to connect to Netcare 911's 24-hour operations centre or 084 124 for ER24. Both are private emergency medical services


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