Johannesburg is like any big city in the world with its bad and good areas. Crime can happen anywhere but tends to be locality bound. If you are unsure of an area ask locals for advice first.
Taking care of yourself in Johannesburg involves a few basic rules which should never be broken.
- Carry your medical aid card and a certified copy of your passport at all times.
- Never walk alone at night.
- Do not wear expensive jewellery.
- Do not flash large and expensive cameras in the streets.
- Do not carry large sums of money.
- Do not talk on your cell phone whilst walking in the street.
- When driving a car keep your car doors locked at all times.
- Keep some money in a clear plastic container so that if mugged you can throw it on the ground away from you to give yourself time to get away.
- Do not try and resist someone holding you up for your money or valuables – you can always replace them you cannot replace your life.
- Be alert and aware and find out no go areas before setting out on your own. Every big city has dangerous areas, JHB is no different.
- If you go to a club do not leave your drinks unattended – rather take them with you. Do not go home with people you do not know and always tell a friend where you are going.
- Do not take lifts from strangers or hitchhike.
- Do not open your doors to strangers and if someone claims to be from an official organisation insist on presentation of identity before opening any doors (they can slip it under the door). Phone any telephone number they provide if in doubt.
- If you feel you are being followed whilst driving, head straight to the nearest police station. There are signs indicating the nearest SAPS (South African Police Service) on the side of the road.