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
- 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