Notes on...

There may never be a better (or cheaper) time to visit South Africa

Jacob Zuma's economic mismanagement has a benefit for tourists: it’s as if a whole country has become half-price

6 February 2016

9:00 AM

6 February 2016

9:00 AM

There are plenty of places to fly to for winter sun, but only one place that offers five-star hotels for the price of a B&B in Lyme Regis. South Africa has always been good value for British visitors, even five years ago when there were 11 rand to the pound. Now that figure is closer to 23 rand. For visitors, an entire country is half price. This freak situation may not last; so there might never be a better time to visit.

The choices are almost overwhelming — safaris, Anglo-Zulu battlefield tours, scenic drives in the Drakensberg mountains — but Cape Town is a wonderful place to start. There’s a comfortingly British feel to the city: the surfer dudes and the beachside bars and restaurants of Camps Bay wouldn’t look out of place on Cornwall’s north coast.

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You can go anywhere in South Africa and buy delicious street food for a pittance — but what distinguishes Cape Town is its world-class restaurants. Nine of us, family and friends, went out last week to visit my sister, who is very helpfully a travel agent there. We’d troop out for a big lunch by the beach — cocktails, beers, calamari; the full works — and the bill would come to £15 a head. Every time you’re presented with a bill in South Africa, it looks like a mistake. You feel almost guilty signing it. But it’s a feeling that you can quickly get used to. One night we went to the Roundhouse, perhaps one of the best restaurants in Cape Town. We indulged in an eight-course taster menu, each dish paired with a local Stellenbosch wine. £50 a head, that cost, and we were splashing out.

The drawback for any British tourist is all the other British tourists. On the next table next to us in the Roundhouse, some Brits got carried away by it all and starting singing Abba. It’s a sore point for the locals. During the Test matches the Barmy Army have been singing ‘23 rand to the pound, 23 rand to the pound’. They were quieter than usual in the stands, though — half of them were ensconced further back in the boxes and executive suites.

The other drawback is getting there. Cape Town is 6,000 miles away from London and the air fare can be pricey. I went via Dubai on Emirates for about £650, but my advice would be not to. You end up spending 17 hours on two planes, plus ages on buses around Dubai’s vast airport. It’s best to fly direct and risk a last-minute ticket: a friend did this recently with British Airways for £700. Then enjoy the extraordinary landscapes, the warm weather and the beaches.

Make sure you hire a car and driver from £40 (or just a car for £15), and spend a day tasting in the winelands (each vineyard offered a session for about a pound a head, as did the Van Ryn’s brandy distillery). While you’re at it, offer a sarcastic toast to Jacob Zuma. The South African president is a disaster who has been destroying Mandela’s legacy and his country’s economy. He’s the reason your trip will be so cheap. The happiest I saw my South African friends was when a hawker approached the car at some traffic lights with a #Zumamustfall bumper sticker. ‘Yes,’ one fist-pumped, ‘it’s catching on.’ Until Zuma does fall, there’s frankly only one thing you can do to help out the poor South Africans: go to Cape Town and spend.

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Show comments
  • davidshort10

    Another travel advertorial from the Brillo Spectator. Memo – SA has been cheap for decades. It’s because of the sanctions. SA produces so much of its own stuff so you don’t pay the cost of imported goods. No one could have predicted that apartheid would have benefitted foreign tourists.

    • post_x_it

      That doesn’t explain the more than 50% depreciation of the rand against sterling over the last five years. Recent economic developments do play a part.

      • davidshort10

        I thank you for the information. I am unfortunate enough at the moment to be in Cote d’Ivoire where the French central African franc is pegged to the euro. It used to be pegged to the French franc. How the French managed that switcheroo is beyond me but probably because they cosy up to the Germans, despite them having murdered so many of their countrymen and women and creating the milice which herded French Jews to their death. Realpolitik, now wonder it is a German word. Cannot wait for my next break in Cape Town! if it weren’t for the murderous gunplay there I might buy a little house of the African summer.

    • Beth

      Unfortunately it’s not cheap for locals. My family have told me how much more expensive food and petrol have become.

      • davidshort10

        You are right, of course. I remember the first time I went to Joburg in 2000 and was buying a lot of stuff for my house in Angola and was talking a bit too much in the Joburg office about how cheap everything was and was advised to be quiet because things were certainly not cheap for people living on local salaries. This article of course is one big example of my innocent stupidity from those days. And yes it is wrong of me to say it is more dangerous than Syria or DRC but people are not of course encouraged to go on holiday there. Tourists think when they are in SA that it is a normal place because it looks it. When you advise them to take extreme care, they think you are being racist.

  • Herman_U_Tick

    An Irishman I worked with in Dublin once told me:
    ‘I can only afford to drive an old banger. My brother, who lives in South Africa, drives a Mercedes. But in the glove compartment of his Mercedes he keeps a shotgun.’

    • Toby Esterhase

      It has gotten incredibly bad. But a mate went for Christmas / New Year, and got 25 Rand to the £. Lived like a king, avoided Jo’burg and ‘Durban’.

    • Malcolm Stevas

      I think it was in S.Africa that someone developed that device to counter car-jacking – a very nasty phenomenon that was (maybe still is?) growing in frequency. Someone appears at your car window and threatens you with a weapon: you press a button, and gouts of flame shoot out from under the car, setting the assailants on fire… Nice idea, not sure how often it was employed. Scary place. Seems like increasingly, when I call London offices (like yesterday) the receptionist speaks with a S.African accent. They’re leaving the sinking ship in droves. One hopes it doesn’t turn into another Zim.

      • davidshort10

        Best anti-jacking method is always leave a full car space in front when you stop at traffic lights (they call them ‘robots’ there). Also have pepper spray which is legal. Don’t carry a gun, even legally. Unless you use guns all the time, you’ll only mess up and the other guy will use it against you. So will the SA police, who are becoming PC…..

        • Malcolm Stevas

          I’d carry a gun, if I could do so legally. I owned a succession of Colt 1911s in .45ACP until the ban, makes nice big holes.

          • davidshort10

            What a scary person you are.

          • Malcolm Stevas

            ? I’m experienced with handguns, not scary. I believe in the right to defend oneself. I do not believe in any government’s presumption that it can deprive me of that right. I do not accept your suggestion that to carry a gun is counter productive or useless. If you’re attacked, what else are you going to do – call Ghostbusters?

          • davidshort10

            You seem like the kind of person who would use a sidearm at the slightest opportunity. The usual suspects are unmarried middle aged men. SA is a scary place because of cowards armed with guns.

          • Malcolm Stevas

            You seem like the kind of person who jumps to conclusions on the basis of zero evidence. SA is a scary place owing to the bad (and declining) standards of governance there.

          • davidshort10

            I imagine that our social spaces are well apart. Thank de Lord.

          • Malcolm Stevas

            Baseless assertions followed by schoolboyish yah-boo non-sequiturs. You’re silly.

          • davidshort10

            Cor blimey.

          • davidshort10

            I know it is wrong to be prejudiced on a a class basis but……

          • Malcolm Stevas

            Rest assured I do not disparage you on account of your low social standing, but because you react so pettishly to disagreement, and you are too ready to jump to erroneous conclusions.

          • davidshort10

            I am from the lowest social standing, so much so that I am not sure I can stand. But my wife is extremely posh.

          • Beth

            Haha. Love your responses.

          • davidshort10

            Thank you, Beth. People get really screwed up about South Africa. Many people who think they understand it don’t understand it al all. It is almost impossible to do so. I had lunch today in West Africa with two South African friends. I think that they love their country which is a great place but are glad to be out of it and earning hard currency. Let us hope it will get better. No need for us to tell lies about the place.

          • Beth

            I always wonder why people resort to insults. Do you really think that helps you convince others that you’re right?

          • Malcolm Stevas

            Presumably this is addressed to the other chap – the insulting one.

          • freddiethegreat

            There you go, bringing class into it again!

          • davidshort10

            Guilty as charged.

          • Beth

            It can take many months, even years, to get a gun license in South Africa. What would you do in the meantime?

          • freddiethegreat

            Go into the Cape Flats and buy an AK 47 with 500 rounds. Only R1000.00

          • Beth

            That’s not the point here. Malcom Stevas said: “I’d carry a gun, if I could do so legally.” Focus on “legally”. I was replying to that comment.
            Besides why would you support crime and pick up a gun illegally? That makes you part of the problem not part of the solution.

          • Malcolm Stevas

            I wouldn’t live in South Africa. How long before it turns into Zim?

          • Cyril Sneer

            Emigrate.

        • Child_of_Thatcher

          The police often do the car jacking

          • Beth

            No it’s often people using police’s uniforms and cars.

          • davidshort10

            I have never seen any evidence of this but the SA police are often kind enough to let you go if given the right amount of rand…..Which is nice.

        • Beth

          Also leave your window open a sliver. They usually try to shatter your window with a little piece of ceramic and if your window is a little open they usually can’t shatter the window.
          And make sure you look in the side and middle mirrors all the time when you’re at a robot, so that you’re aware of what’s going on around you. These guys prefer going for someone who is not aware of their surroundings. Element of surprise. So no talking on cellphones, etc. And we women (and men with laptop bags, gym bags, etc) should either lock it in the boot or put it underneath the driver or passenger seat, out of sight.

          • davidshort10

            Good advice. Didn’t know that but I always knew to be wary at robots and not even stop at them at night!

          • Cyril Sneer

            Sounds like such a wonderful place.

          • Beth

            It is a wonderful place to visit. Gorgeous scenery. Magnificent animals. Wonderful people. Don’t be one of those negative people who are too scared to have adventures.

      • Shazza

        Urban legend.

        • davidshort10

          I think you are right. Who wants to blow up their own car….?

        • freddiethegreat

          No, it’s true. There was also an invention of spring loaded blade that would cut the feet off a hijacker. But the were banned as being contrary to human rights.

      • WTF

        I was over there back in the 1990’s on business and the company I was dealing with on IT stuff also sold some serious home protection s***. One that caught my eye was floodlights, not your normal 100-500 watt halogens but 3kw – 5kw lamps that would blind you for several minutes essentially incapacitating the person breaking in. That along with razor wire and other security measures looked very effective but would be banned in the UK and you would be charged with an offense if you tried to install it and some low life got hurt.

        Apart from America and a few other places, as far as the home is concerned the guy who breaks in is now the victim unfortunately in this topsy turvy world.

        • Malcolm Stevas

          Quite – a bizarre inversion of natural justice. I still recall from quite a long time ago a case in France where someone was so fed up with hooligans breaking into his weekend cottage that he put an explosive-filled radio case on the table, triggered by a movement sensor. It duly went off, plastering the lowlife around the room… Didn’t do much for the decor, but the homeowner escaped jail IIRC – the judge said the police had failed clearly to ensure security so the man was entitled to defend his property.

      • King Trollo

        yeah i think that guy was politically-motivated somehow

        theres no travel advisory in place for south africa, which shows that it isnt that dangerous. its fairly conclusive

        a good rule to follow: really dangerous country > travel advisory

      • post_x_it

        “They’re leaving the sinking ship in droves.”
        If they are young and white, they have no other choice as SA’s discriminatory employment laws make it all but impossible for them to find decent jobs.

    • davidshort10

      that’s a big glove compartment!

  • PetaJ

    No rush – it will get cheaper. However, it will also get more and more run-down and more dangerous, so maybe there is a rush.

  • Tone

    Don’t go near the place. Murder capital of the world.

    • Gilbert White

      Possible to do it with extreme caution?

    • davidshort10

      It also has the highest rape count and that’s just the reported ones.

      • Beth

        I did some research and surprisingly enough, South Africa is second when it comes to reported rapes. I was shocked to see the US is at number 1. I thought one of the war-torn countries like the DRC or even Syria would be at number 1. But I guess this study was just for reported rapes.

        • WTF

          It all depends on definition as countries like Sweden (as Assange found out), might classify a certain act as rape but it most certainly isn’t rape in say S. Africa or even perhaps the UK.

          Militant feminist want it to be rape if a couple get drunk and have a drunken bonk for goodness sake just because they claim the woman was drunk and couldn’t give ‘permission’. They excuse for the woman for being drunk and unable to give permission but nail the guy despite him not being sober enough to be responsible. Then they also got involved with young men & women with mental ages of say 10 years but whose bodies still have the physical urges and tried to make it rape for the man but absolved the woman. My point being that you can’t judge objectively if there was rape of not when both are drunk or have metal problems but some of these feminists think they can make it black and white on judgement.

          Murder is easier to define and different categories of murder are relatively easy to categorize but rape is a complete mess on definition and especially from country to country.

          We can clearly define violent stranger rape where the parties were previously unknown to each other as there’s evidence to back it up and similarly if a child is involved. Where it becomes very difficult is with date rape between couples that have just met or know each other and the complainant makes allegations later but no violence was involved. Only if evidence of a date rape drug can be found is it clear cut as otherwise its he said, she said and miscarriages of justice often occur on both sides.

          But back to your point, global stats on rape are pretty useless unless the definition of rape is the same for every country or adjustments are made to take account of the differences. Just look at the Swedish ‘model’ where the slightest personal space infringement might be classed as rape and compare it (in extremis) to say the Islamic model where rape doesn’t even exist in name as a crime.

      • King Trollo

        they put all sorts of fluff in those stats and the country doesnt in fact even have a travel advisory in place

        one would think that if it was the most dangerous and rape-ridden ciountry in the world it would have one?

        its very strange how south africans like to think of their country as the most dangerous in the world. its just balls-out odd

    • Beth

      No. Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world, followed by other South and Central American countries. South Africa does have a high murder rate but definitely not the highest in the world, therefore it can’t be the murder capital. Get facts straight first.

      • Tone

        Depends on who’s facts you believe. Just because you say it. Doesn’t make it right.

        • Beth

          I got it from credible links, I’m not just “saying it” like you. How about you? Why is it so important to you that South Africa is known for the highest murder rate?

        • King Trollo

          south american countries have explicit travel advisories and higher corruption indices, both are independent sources. case closed

          not sure where youre getting your info from, south africa has much more accurate statistics than these places

      • King Trollo

        id say syria is the real murder capital of the world but youre correct for tourist countries. and their stats are nowhere near as accurate as mzanzis anyway

  • Gilbert White

    Upmarket Dignatis holiday! Wine and dine before the swiss roll, zulu style? Offload unwanted spouses, no matter how young and beautiful? The Rainbow Nation with a crock of faeces.

    • freddiethegreat

      Funny – I thouight people like Lord Lucan were Brits

  • Mc

    “Jacob Zuma’s economic mismanagement has a benefit for tourists: it’s as if a whole country has become half-price”

    What’s really cheap about the place is the value of one’s life to their Rainbow Nation murderers. At the very least, you can negotiate half price removal of inconvenient spouses.

    • davidshort10

      It is a Rainbow Nation. The colours remain separate.

      • Tone

        There is no white in a rainbow. And the rainbow nation would prefer no whites.

        • davidshort10

          Very true that there is no white in a rainbow but even though the races don’t mix in SA, whites are tolerated more than they used to be in SA. The young now laugh at people who blame everything on apartheid. It is still a pity that a country that a country that is full of colonists cannot be more tolerant but is instead scourged by murderers and rapists. Those guys are jus cowards because they have guns.

          • Tone

            Not sure where you get your information from. Whites are not tolerated by a huge majority…. See ANC and EFF members singing “kill the farmer kill the boer”. It’s on YouTube for all to see. That has influenced a large majority of ‘The young’.

          • davidshort10

            I get my information from when I am in South Africa. I know how some people try to do the white hatred thing but i also know how young people in SA think that that attitude is ridiculous and outdated. One day all the current generation of murderers and rapists who blame apartheid will be dead and gone. Whether SA as a big economy will survive is another matter.

          • Beth

            Well said davidshort10. I think Tone (Toes?) is wrong on so many levels. He needs to get out a bit more and mix with other races and get to know them as human beings and friends.

          • davidshort10

            Right. I know SA fairly well and wish the country well also but I would like people to understand the truth of the country as it is now.

          • Beth

            Wrong. Only a small part.

        • Beth

          No they won’t. Geez get the chip off your shoulder already.

  • Richard

    When I was there last year, all the Indians in the car rental agencies told me how they want to get out. Cape Town is the only city that is sort-of holding its own, the other places are starting to look like Havana without the cigars. All the smaller historic towns I saw have become almost completely black, and have turned into slums.

    • hyena

      Well we can thank UK for launching a hate campaign against SA and Rhodesia

      http://www.cwporter.com/rhodesia.html

      • Richard

        This was all from the Left. The origin of the campaigns, as with all latter-day PC-ness, has been the US. The UK was an unwilling participant in most of it out of Labour control.

    • Beth

      You must not have been to places like Pretoria (the capital of South Africa) Bloemfontein, Knysna, Hoedspruit, Nelspruit, Centurion, etc. And unless you were there for a few months there is no way you could have seen each city and each town. Some areas are slums, just like there are slummy areas in every single country in the world.

      • Richard

        No, I did not see all the cities, but the places I did see had deteriorated markedly since 2009. The economy is in dire straits due to the usual African corruption, theft and mismanagement, and so this is an inevitable result.

      • justejudexultionis

        Paarl looked pretty good a few months ago when I was there.

  • hyena

    I knew a guy from South Africa. He always had endless stories how the glorious and noble black folk would rob schoolchildren at gunpoint, how their sprogs would bring weapons to school to take whites’ stuff, how rape is considered as natural as breathing… Just the usual monkeyshines !

    • Beth

      I know many South Africans. I’m South African myself. Your guy was messing with you. Rape is not considered as natural as breathing. And the school stories? Really? Yes people get robbed, rape happens. But not the way your guy described.

      • hyena

        Maybe you were in the bubble? He was righ there with the negroes.

        • Beth

          For over 32 years I was living in a bubble? And your language is racist and despicable.
          I have many friends of all races in South Africa and I am calling your guy a liar. Go live there yourself for a few decades, get the knowledge yourself without relying on some guy from South Africa you knew and then you can come present your second-hand knowledge as facts.

          • hyena

            Sorry I’m not going to rape capital of the world to prove I was right.

          • Beth

            No you’d rather sit behind your computer or on your phone and believe random lies and not be brave and go have an adventure? That is the saddest thing I’ve read all week.

          • hyena

            I don’t even need to go to africa to learn about the coons. I have all the info I need on them on chimpmania. Or I could just turn on the TV, there’s always one of them stabbing a young woman or raping a little boy. It is how it is. No need to chimpout about the reality.

          • Colsh

            Please stay away, it’s a nicer place without you

          • davidshort10

            I very much doubt that.

          • Cyril Sneer

            I don’t think so.

        • freddiethegreat

          We don’t have negroes. That’s West Africa you’re thinking of. Black folk in SA are ethnically Bantu.

  • davidshort10

    I really find it hard to understand the editor can allow this sort of nonsense to be published in the magazine. The reason why it is attractive in SA is because it provides everything that western people enjoy, and this is particularly the case in Cape Town but the reason it is cheap is because it is so dangerous. Probably the most dangerous country in the world but tourists are not warned, and they are tempted by dumb articles such as this. It seems normal, in our own terms, but it is not. You can be murdered, just like that. And the police won’t even bother to investigate. It is worse for women.

    • Beth

      I’m pretty sure Syria or the DRC are more dangerous than our beautiful South Africa. I’m not saying it’s not dangerous but to call it the most dangerous is a bit over the top.

      • davidshort10

        I take your point.

        • DDownie

          What on earth are you talking about Mr Short? What is your experience of going to South Africa? We have been going for 12 years for three/four weeks a year – have been in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KZN, Orange Free State and most recently Mpumlanga and never, ever had any sort of problem. In fact we have only experienced unfailing politeness. They even drive on the right side of the road – and a lot more politely than they do in the UK.

          The reason it is cheap has nothing whatever to do with crime and everything to do with commodity prices and an incompetent governement. If you are reading this then I implore you to go – it is a beautiful, beautiful country. A must see.

          • davidshort10

            I have been there many times and I have even lived in Hillbrow, which not many whiteys have. And in Observatory. And in Yeoville. I have been in CT many times and Durban once and also in Heidelberg where I love to go to but the residents there don’t like my black friends!

          • freddiethegreat

            Hillbrow? Yikes!

          • freddiethegreat

            Errata: KZN is Natal, Mpumulanga is Eastern Transvaal.
            Govermnent not just incompetent, but a bunch of dribbling monkeys.

          • DDownie

            So would you repeat that if you were not hiding behind a pseudonym? Surprised the moderator let it through

    • freddiethegreat

      Oh rubbish. I read the UK papers and I’m terrified to visit. I walk around Cape Town’s suburbs at night with no problem. Stay out of all the city centres, avoid Johanneburg (nothing there anyway) completely, go for Kruger, Natal Midlands and the Cape.

    • Colsh

      Any stats on how many British tourists are murdered in Cape Town? Please share! !

      • davidshort10

        65.

    • King Trollo

      you must be talking about tourist countries? there are many tourist areas which are more dangerous such as latin america where gringoes die regularly in cell phone snatchings and the like

      theres no reason to warn tourists about south agrica, for the simple fact that its extremely unlikely that anything will happen. similar for latin america even if its worse

      • davidshort10

        Very difficult to understand your message.

  • RussellW

    I’m a “seff effican” who hasn’t (yet) fled. If you’re sensible and stick to the tourist routes you’ll be OK – your chances of becoming a crime statistic in the Cape Winelands or in the Kruger are minimal (watch out for the leopards though!) You can have a spectacular holiday for so few of your lovely pounds. I saw a British woman buying furiously in a shop in Cape Town – she said to me, “I have mad pound disease.” Spare a thought for how expensive it is for us to travel to the UK though.

    • davidshort10

      Well said!

  • Beth

    Heck only 17 hours on two planes? I’ll take it! We’re on the west coast in the US. It’s anywhere from 25 hours to 35 hours, depending on the route, for us.

  • http://capeholidays.info/ johan horak

    Very funny. Sad but funny. Glad you guys are enjoying cheap South Africa. This is the best: “Until Zuma does fall, there’s frankly only one thing you can do to help out the poor South Africans: go to Cape Town and spend”.

    • freddiethegreat

      Seconded. Even better, give Zuma a push. We really wouldn’t mind it you launched an Iraq style invasion here.

  • Child_of_Thatcher

    Take body armour and a gun. Have a good trip!

  • Phyllyp Sparowe

    Just wait until Malema rocks up. Then it will be even cheaper.

    • justejudexultionis

      Malema was expelled from the ANC so it is unlikely that he will be in charge any time soon (unless he leads some kind of revolution, of course). However, Zuma is doing a great job f-ing it up down there.

  • Count Spencer

    The article doesn’t seem to mention that the place is cheap because it is rotting under black rule.

  • Paddy Nolan

    Been here since ’81 (originally from Hampton, near Hampton Court) seen a lot of changes……not all good. Would just advise you all to be careful (just like when, in say, Brixton or some such) there are good and bad places to go. This is still God’s country…………..at least for some of us who work for a living.

  • King Trollo

    refarding crime: theres no explicit travel advisory in placxe for south africa. which is strange when you hear how some south africans carry on, youd think it would have had one easily

  • MathMan

    Don’t forget to take the AK 47 and the chastity belt.

  • renegade10

    And at least South Africans don’t have to live with terror alerts all the time.

    • justejudexultionis

      No, they just have the continual racial tension, threat of murder and/or carjacking to contend with.

      • renegade10

        Kak

      • Netwerk24

        Kak

  • renegade10

    hey moderators some people are confusing South Africa with Latin America and the haters have taken control of the comments here. Crime in SA is OVER reported, a media hungry for gory headlines feasts upon crime. Truth is that in the suburbs of SA, there is, like everywhere else in the world ,only opportunistic crime (pickpockets and you may get your car window smashed if it’s parked overnight in a dimly lit street). Same as in any “first world modern city”of today. The English, SA expats in England and our local conservative media love exaggerating.

    • justejudexultionis

      Try telling that to the families of the 3000+ white farmers killed in cold blood since the mid-1990s, and who knows how many Blacks have died pointlessly in the townships.

      • Paddy Nolan

        52 per day, every day.

      • renegade10

        This article is about how cheap it is for British tourists in South Africa . It is not an article calling on Brits to come farm on remote farms nor is it an article telling Brits to come jol in townships.

    • Cyril Sneer

      What are haters? People who you disagree with yes?

      • Beth

        Clearly people who hate South Africa and love to spew negativity when it comes to South Africa, even though they left over 30 years ago.

        • Cyril Sneer

          So there is no reason why people feel like this or why people leave SA?

          From wiki, just an example of why people may want to leave:

          ‘Crime is a prominent issue in South Africa. South Africa
          has a very high rate of murders, assaults, rapes (adult, child, elderly
          and infant), and other crimes compared to most countries. Most emigrants
          from South Africa state that crime was a big factor in their decision
          to leave/

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_South_Africa

          South Africa has gone backwards since apartheid.

          Are only people who still (claim to) live there only allowed to comment on an internet forum about this subject?

          • Beth

            You know that anyone can add information to wikipedia, right? You don’t have to have any proven facts, you can just add whatever you like.

            I never claimed to still live there. If you look at my other comments, I’ve actually said that my family and friends still live there and that I’d like to move back one day.

            And please, try to refrain from sarcasm. It doesn’t show a lot of maturity. I did not say only those who are still allowed to live there are the only ones allowed to comment. If that was true then I would not be commenting now, would I? You are more than welcome to say whatever you want, but be prepared for others to respond to your comments.

            I know many who have left South Africa. Many state that they would love to move back. They either moved, like me, because they are married to a foreign spouse, or, like friends of mine, they had a good job offer, or their company moved them. Very few have left because of crime. These are people I know. People I have talked to in person. Not wikipedia.

          • Beth

            Besides why do you care about South Africa so much? If you think so little of the country, why do you care what we say about it? Do you respond to similar articles regarding other countries too?

    • Beth

      While I agree with most of your comments, I don’t agree with there being only opportunistic crime in the suburbs. My family still lives in the suburbs and it’s not quite like that. So I get my info first-hand, not from the media. But it’s a beautiful country and my husband and I would love to move back there one day.

  • http://www.ukipforbritain.co.uk/ ukipforbritainwebsite

    I don’t know whether you’re aware of this, but – package holidays to Syria are going dead cheap!

  • davidshort10

    It really is a pity that SA is the way it is.

  • Mode4

    Hasn’t Cape Town surpassed Joburg as the murder capital of SA and in the top ten in the world. I know it’s cheap but it’s not really a good advert for tourism.

  • Robin Gilbert-Jones

    The British press and its readers seem to have such a warped view of South Africa. Even in the Spectator under an article praising it as a tourist destination. British people just love to sneer and gloat and make the same boring unoriginal comments about it being “the next Zimbabwe” or “murder capital”. Ignorance is one thing but the schaden freude glee they seem to derive from it just strange. I can only conclude that their lives are so bland and grey that they have to put down more interesting places to get their kicks. I live in South Africa by choice (I lived in the UK for 13 years, have a British passport and could leave any time) but I live here because I love this country and there is a vibrancy and dynamism to living in the developing world which has long since faded in the first-world Europe. Yes we have our problems to be sure but it is nonsensical to talk about “South Africa” being safe or unsafe. What do you mean by that? Do you mean walking around the leafy suburbs of Constantia at 2 in the afternoon or the back streets of Gugulethu at 2 in the morning. Furthermore, yes we have terrible crime statistics but if you are well off and living here or visiting here as a tourist you are largely insulated from it by virtue of where you live. If you come here on holiday and wander around a dodgy area alone late at night you have only yourself to blame. Sadly (though fortunately for tourists and middle class people) most of the victims of violent crime are themselves poor and live in such areas. Though incidents do occur from time to time, the idea that its open season on tourists and rich suburban home-owners is just ignorant nonsense

  • Robin Gilbert-Jones

    The British press and its readers seem to have such a warped view of South Africa. Even in the Spectator under an article praising it as a tourist destination. British people just love to sneer and gloat and make the same boring unoriginal comments about it being “the next Zimbabwe” or “murder capital”. Ignorance is one thing but the schaden freude glee they seem to derive from it just strange. I live in South Africa by choice (I lived in the UK for 13 years, have a British passport and could leave any time) but I live here because I love this country and there is a vibrancy and dynamism to living in the developing world which has long since faded in the first-world Europe. Yes we have our problems to be sure but it is nonsensical to talk about “South Africa” being safe or unsafe. What do you mean by that? Do you mean walking around the leafy suburbs of Constantia at 2 in the afternoon or the back streets of Gugulethu at 2 in the morning. Furthermore, yes we have terrible crime statistics but if you are well off and living here or visiting here as a tourist you are largely insulated from it by virtue of where you live. If you come here on holiday and wander around a dodgy area alone late at night you have only yourself to blame. Sadly (though fortunately for tourists and middle class people) most of the victims of violent crime are themselves poor and live in such areas. Though incidents do occur from time to time, the idea that its open season on tourists and rich suburban home-owners is just ignorant nonsense

    • davidshort10

      I don’t take delight in saying so but SA is extremely dangerous and I always tell visitors this, for their own good. You cannot walk outside People go to malls because of the danger. The media has not reported SA accurately because everything is supposed to be wonderful post-apartheid. SA was important as a place for the West to protect even under apartheid when the Cold War was on. It was strategic. Now it isn’t. In the old days not even a western reporter was brave enough to write about people burning down Winnie Mandela’s house. Now it is a pity that nobody cares at all about SA.

      • Robin Gilbert-Jones

        I can only assume if you do live here you live in a far more dangerous area than me. Again, South Africa is very variable. Its silly to say you can’t walk outside in “South Africa”. I hike on the mountain every weekend. Women job alone around my neighbourhood (Claremont) every day. Malls? You couldn’t pay me to spend a day in one. Your intentions may be good but you do visitors and the country a disservice by giving them a broad-brush fearful image of the country as a whole.

      • Robin Gilbert-Jones

        I can only assume if you do live here you live in a far more dangerous area than me. Again, South Africa is very variable. Its silly to say you can’t walk outside in “South Africa”. I hike on the mountain every weekend. Women jog alone around my neighbourhood (Claremont) every day. Malls? You couldn’t pay me to spend a day in one. Your intentions may be good but you do visitors and the country a disservice by giving them a broad-brush fearful image of the country as a whole.

        • davidshort10

          I have warned people for their own good and as I say I take no delight in it. It remains the case for me as only a visitor to SA, that I know two women who have been raped there, one in front of her five year old son, and one man who was shot. One gun-happy security guard once fired at a shoplifter and the casing cracked my windscreen, that’s how close he was. Lots of guns in SA.

          • Marang Lesedi

            Really sorry about your personal experience. No one should ever have to go through that, but that’s no reason to make sweeping statements and paint the whole country with that brush.

          • Seawolf

            I know someone who was jogging along the road in Newlands at 6 in the morning and murdered for his mobile phone. I know another woman murdered by her employees, another one murdered just outside her house while her family looked on, another woman raped in front of her tied up family.

      • Marang Lesedi

        LOL! “The media has not reported SA accurately because everything is supposed to be wonderful post-apartheid.” Either you don’t live here, or you live here and don’t read your papers regularly. The press coverage is so non-“wonderful” that the president himself has on more than one occasion begged editors to paint a more cheerful picture. There is even an attempt by the government to “turn the national broadcaster into the government mouthpiece”, as the private press put it, just to curtail all the negative energy created by the local press. My guess is you’re part of a small community who’re bitterly disappointed that by and large, their doomsday predictions concerning this country have been false.

      • Seawolf

        This is why I refuse to return on holiday.

  • Cyril Sneer

    A beautiful country that my parents and my brother and I were only too glad to leave behind. That was over 30 years ago though but I get the impression that things haven’t really improved since then.

    • JabbaTheCat

      As was Rhodesia before that…

      • Cyril Sneer

        Agreed.

    • Beth

      Now this is so sad. You left over 30 years ago and rely on media to give you a view of South Africa today. I bet South Africa is glad you and your family left. That kind of negativity is not needed anywhere. Hope you are more positive towards your “new” country.

      • Cyril Sneer

        “You left over 30 years ago and rely on media to give you a view of South Africa today”

        Fascinating you think you know so much about me yet you don’t. I don’t rely on media sweetie.. the media is the last thing I would ever rely on to get the truth.

        “I bet South Africa is glad you and your family left”

        Provide evidence and how much are you willing to bet?

        “Hope you are more positive towards your “new” country.”

        I’m English born and bred, I wasn’t born in SA but thanks for the assumption.

        • Beth

          I’m going with what you provided in your comment: “A beautiful country that my parents and my brother and I were only too glad to leave behind. That was over 30 years ago though but I get the impression that things haven’t really improved since then.”

          “Sweetie”? That’s degrading and offensive. I’m nothing of you. Please refrain from calling me any name apart from Beth.

          Evidence? That’s my opinion, which is why I said “I bet”. If it was a fact I would have said it is a fact. I did not state a fact so I do not need to provide any evidence. You should know the difference.

          If you’re English born and bred then you obviously have more love for your birth country. And you probably didn’t spend a lot of time in South Africa since you are “English born and bred”. The way I have always understand “born and bred” is that is where you were born and raised. I am South African born and bred. Lived there for the first 32 years of my life. No assumption, you should have been more clear in your comments instead of leaving important info (important enough to you to add it in a second comment). As for me? I do not care where you were born and raised, just that you have a lot of negative things to say about a country that you, according to you, left over 30 years ago. I do not say anything negative about England. I have family and friends there. I know it’s a lovely place. Yes with its own problems but why should I focus on that? Isn’t it hard to be so negative and insulting?

          Have a wonderful week, Colin Sneer. Try some positivity, okay? And while you’re at it, try being nice to strangers.

  • JabbaTheCat

    The photo galleries at the old Death Of Johannesburg blog are worth viewing by prospective visitors and then updating with a Google street view drive through same places…
    http://deathofjohannesburg.blogspot.co.uk/2006/07/new-galleries-added.html

  • James

    With continued decline due to the EU, there may never be a cheaper or better time to move to South Africa.

    • jmjm208

      What about the crime?

      • James

        EU is riddled with organised crime (bankers and politicians) as well as terrorists and Tottenham Hotspur fans.

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