USA updates travel warning for South Africa

The US state department has updated its travel advisory for citizens travelling to South Africa.

According to the warning, travellers should exercise increased caution in South Africa due to crime, civil unrest, and drought.

“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,” it states.

“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.

“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.”

The warning comes in the same week that the South African Police Service released the latest crime stats for the country, noting fewer community reported crimes, but a sharp increase in violent crimes like murder and rape.

In a separate page focusing on safety and security, the US state department 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,” it said.

“In 2018, South African authorities arrested suspected ISIS sympathizers in connection with the disappearance of two British citizens in KwaZulu Natal.”

It also set out the following tips for people that decide to travel in 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.

Read: These are the worst hijacking areas in South Africa

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