Cape Town - Post Report Question and Answers
Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.
Yes. "Smash and grab" car jackings are a real concern. Same with pickpocketing. I've heard some people are robbed at knife point or gunpoint. Give up your wallet, phone, or whatever they want. It's not worth your life. - Aug 2021
You must be aware and careful. Security concerns are a part of daily life. - Apr 2021
House breaking does happen and sexual assault is real - property crime tends to get violent for no good reason. You learn to be hyper-aware at all times, but the trick is not letting that sink into fear and keep you from getting to know the real Cape Town and enjoying this city! - Feb 2018
Crime. South Africa in general has a very high crime rate, including violent crime. Large parts of Cape Town are recommended no-go areas for this reason. Carjackings are far more common in Johannesburg/Pretoria but can occur here. Several people have been mugged or robbed walking near the U.S. consulate, and that's in one of the nicer areas of Cape Town. Be aware of where you're walking, don't walk around while distracted with your phone, etc., don't leave any items in your car in view.
Unfortunately, police corruption is a major problem in Cape Town and South Africa generally and police have been arrested recently for colluding with robbers -- including by loaning out weapons, uniforms and so on.
If traveling to Johannesburg, be aware of the spate of "follow-home" robberies of late and if at all possible travel from the airport to your hotel during daylight hours, or use one of the smaller airports as an alternative to OR Tambo. - Oct 2017
Crime is a reality in South Africa but much less so in Cape Town. Most violent crime occurs in areas which are generally avoided but street muggings do occur downtown. It's always a concern when going out but not nearly as bad as the statistics make it out to be. - May 2014
All of South Africa has crime problems, some very violent. That said, we have had no issues going any where or doing anything, as long as we use common sense--doors locked and windows (mostly) up when we drive, don't flash lots of cash or expensive jewelry/cameras, saty out of the bar/night club areas after dark, etc. If you wouldn't do it in a major city in the U.S., don't do it here! - Aug 2013
Crime continues to be an issue in South Africa, but with reasonable precautions, one can be safe. It helps to integrate into society and build friendships with locals in order to learn the best places to visit and those places one shouldn't visit alone. - Oct 2007