Thursday, 16 July 2009

The myth of South Africa being a dangerous place to travel : revisited


Above is probably the most dangerous thing you will encounter as a tourist in South Africa. But , if you're unlucky enough to innocently be sitting within earshot of a certain kind of South African (Racist and revisionist) you would be forgiven for getting the impression that it's a terribly dangerous place to visit. Scratch at the surface and everything seems to back up this notion. The murder rate is high so surely that filters it's way through to the tourists ?

Well that's the quirky thing and I forgive you for your misconceptions. It certainly doesn't.

If tourists suffered the same murder rate as everyday poor South Africans (38 per 100 000) we would find the following.

If the murder rate that affected poor south Africans was applied to tourists then 3420 tourist would be murdered a year.

(38 * 10 = 380 per million * 9 = 3420 per 9 million )

In reality however tourist murders are freakishly rare with some years going by without a single one. For evidence of this scratch around search engines and see how many tourist murders you can find in South Africa. Then for comparison have a look at places such as Thailand, the Caribbean, Mexico, Australia etc. Consider than South Africa gets more tourists than most of these places.

The plain raw truth is that far from South Africa being MORE dangerous for seemingly "easy targets" like tourists , it's in fact much, much safer. The odds of being murdered as a tourist in South Africa are anywhere as low as 1-3 in 9 million. Let me explain why.

While some people strive to present violent crime in South Africa as a black on white phenomenon, this is seldom the case. The gross majority of people getting murdered are poor, black and living in squalor. In fact conservatively 32 out or 33 people murdered are black or coloured. These are not murders for gain or money, despite perceptions hijackings, house robbery and armed robbery make up only 500 murders in South Africa a year. Rather these are more than often the result of interpersonal disputes fuelled by alcohol. Certainly the few murders I've been told about by fit this description perfectly...drunken knife fighting between know acquaintances fuelled by some dispute. So far from being more in danger because you're wealthier than the average person , in fact the opposite is true.

The point is that crime in South Africa is not as random an chaotic as people will have you believe. It's not lurking around every corner with your fate attached to some roulette wheel. It's quite systematic and predictable. For the gross majority of violent crime it's confined to certain areas, risks groups (black or coloured males) and follows simple unsophisticated patterns. To put this another way : It's very easy to avoid it.

And the fact that we have an extremely low rate of tourists murders proves that.

Consider that as a tourist you're never ever likely to go anywhere near the violent hubs of the country. Unless you really try hard and put your mind to it , as a tourist you will never even go to a township. Most middle classed South Africans live their whole lives without ever spending a single day in a township, not because they're scared...they just don't need to. Personally I have spent a lot of time in townships driving around alone door to door in a middle of the road sedan and never found cause to worry.

We have perfectly nice, modern , developed cities for you to hang around in between trips to game parks, wine farms, beaches and cultural trips. And I assure you there is little to no danger in the places I have just described.

The white murder rate in South Africa .

Crime in South Africa is in a very real way mostly the burden of the chronically poor. While white South African's compared to many countries suffer a slightly inflated murder rate of 12 per 100 000, this does not translate to tourists for various reasons.

Firstly white South Africans , especially one might argue Afrikaners, are quite an aggressive and violent bunch. Add to that a hard drinking culture that is always on edge and almost all armed, A night out in certain circles of white South Africa will routinely end up in a fight. What I'm hinting at is that even if you took poor black people out of the occasion , white South Africans would still have an escalated murder rate compared to our western counter parts.

Also consider of women murdered in South Africa, 50% are murdered by their spouse/boyfriend. But that's not to say South African men are more violent. To put things in context women do only make up in 1 in 11 murders (the murder rate for South African white women is around 1 per 100 000 ..less than the murder rate for the UK). The point is that I'm just trying to dismiss some of the perception that crimes South Africa face are solely related to being in proximity of poor black people.

To conclude. South Africa is a tried and tested , proven safe destination for tourists. Beyond that there is so much to see and do at a very affordable price. A great plethora of fauna, flora, cultures, climates. All the luxury of Europe, with all the wild of Africa served up with a warmth and a smile that humbles most.

I apologise if this is a bit dry and sober this morning. I'll get back to kicking up riots soon.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

South Africa's failure to achieve greater income equality is reflected in the fact that, according to the UN Development Programme, it is one of the most unequal societies in the world. Our GINI coefficient of .66 has remained virtually constant since 1994. It is deeply ironic that the income gap between black and white South Africans actually closed more rapidly between 1970 and 1994 than it has done since then.

The Rooster said...

Actually anon, I think you will find that the average black income has sky rocketed. If all you say is true then all that means is that the whites have been getting richer at the same rate. Which if you are actually in South Africa is pretty obvious to me.

Our economy has grown 600% bigger in RELATIVE terms since 1994.

Anonymous said...

Cape Town - New Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda has treated himself to a pair of German luxury cars, one to use in Pretoria and the other in Cape Town.

In a written reply to a parliamentary question, posed by the Democratic Alliance, he said the new vehicles - both 2009 BMW 750i models - cost R1 135 500 each.

His reply also reveals that the cars are fitted with R148 400 worth of extras, including, in the Pretoria-based vehicle, a R23 400 "rear-seat entertainment" system and a R5 600 "high-gloss satin chrome" paint job.

Nyanda said the existing official vehicles available for him had either done more than 120 000km, or were more than five years old, and in terms of the Cabinet-approved Ministerial Handbook he was entitled to new ones.

"The vehicle for use in Cape Town was nine years old, and had reached 115 072km. The vehicle for use in Pretoria was four years old, and had reached 137 194km," he said.

Extras...

His new Pretoria vehicle has an array of extra features.

These include a R35 800 "innovation's package inclusive of... rear-view camera, ceramic surround for controls, ambient interior lighting, adaptive headlights, high beam assist, lane departure warning [and] lane change warning".

Its Cape Town twin is fitted with a three-spoke leather steering wheel. It too has a rear-view camera.

In a statement on Thursday, DA communications spokesperson Lindiwe Mazibuko described the purchase of the vehicles as "frivolous and a massive waste of public money".

Her party would be submitting follow-up questions on the matter.

"During this time of economic crisis when hundreds of thousands of ordinary South Africans are losing their jobs and businesses across the country are shutting down, government should be setting the tone for austerity and sound financial management," she said.

The Rooster said...

I'm going to let the last comment pass. But since I'm being censored on other websites , I'm going to fat out refuse to put up comments here that are not an opinion but just some random piece of news. This is not the place for you to push your stupid little sulky agenda.

Regarding the last comment, I think any adult human being who think any government world wide does not grossly abuse their positions has their head up their ass. I'm so tired of cry babies going on about the people in government having expensive cars.Fucking communists.

Uhuru Guru said...

@ Roosterboy: Tsk tsk - just last week you were running around insisting that reports of township dogs regularly snacking on niglet fetuses was total fiction. So I post a link to yet ANOTHER occurrence (these things happen daily) but you censor it?

Not that your denial of the grim black-run SA realities surprises me in the least. You're the other side of the coin of those holocaust-denying Nazis we're faced with so often.

Keep deluding yourself - I guess its one way to stay sane and avoid having to take responsibility for the ogrish consequences of your multi-culturalist wet dream.

Rooster Sucks said...

This entire diatribe is drivel. Why? Because as always you base your ramblings on statistics that have NO basis. You present 'facts' like 32 out of 33. At least 50% OF......ETC ETC. Where do you suck these figures from??

You claim to hold academic degrees - if you do you would know that a fundamental concept of academia is that you provide the sources of your information. You never do that. You present bogus facts and figures which you suck out of your arse. These figures are meaningless - therefore your arguements which derive from them are equally meaningless.

The source of crime statistics in SA start at the coalface - the police. Need I say more?

No doubt you will dismiss this in your usual arrogant way - which is fine. You may have some followers that hang on your every word and beleive all the drivel that you write. But you don't fool me bro.

Anonymous said...

SAPS don't record tourist murders. Take a look at a police report the next time you get a chance. Only personal detail recorded. No place to fill in tourist details.
Also, no mention of tourist crime stats on their web site.

How are we to really get a clear picture of this situation. Until this happens I just don't see the point in debating the subject.

I hope for everyone's sake that you are right though.

Black Coffee said...

Rooster - I am on your side on the crime issue for most part. However, while tourist murders may be rare, I have heard of several visitors to South Africa being robbed. Although this did not happen to me on the way to or from Tambo airport, I was robbed in the Joubert Park area of Johannesburg. That is not too far from Ellis Park stadium. SA should not frighten tourists away, not at all, but neither should they expect Western European levels of safety.

The Rooster said...

This entire diatribe is drivel. Why? Because as always you base your ramblings on statistics that have NO basis. You present 'facts' like 32 out of 33. At least 50% OF......ETC ETC. Where do you suck these figures from??

You claim to hold academic degrees - if you do you would know that a fundamental concept of academia is that you provide the sources of your information. You never do that. You present bogus facts and figures which you suck out of your arse. These figures are meaningless - therefore your arguements which derive from them are equally meaningless.

The source of crime statistics in SA start at the coalface - the police. Need I say more?

No doubt you will dismiss this in your usual arrogant way - which is fine. You may have some followers that hang on your every word and beleive all the drivel that you write. But you don't fool me bro.

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I have at previous times provded sources for all my claims. They are all buried within my site and I've linked to them over and over. I write this with no agenda and have no reason to bullshit anyone. I'm totally anti the bullshit so you don't need to guess my agenda. If South Africa was as awful as zasucks anf the likes suggets I promise you I wouldn't spend a moment of my time defending it. The 1 in 33 murders was done in a independant study and it mirrors my own research. I simple don't have the time or desire to have to link to every single indocrintated person calling me out on something.

To the guy who wants to post about dogs eating deading babies , which was a once off gruesome event, you repost , remove the offesive words, and remove suggestions that this is a daily occurence or anything less than a totally freakish event and then I might allow it to be posted.

Uhuru Guru said...

Rooster:

ANOTHER dead baby being chowed by dogs.
Not the one I posted last week, that you were too cowardly to approve - a NEW case.

Couple held for toddler's murder

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=13&art_id=nw20090720170321276C356735

July 20 2009 at 10:30PM

A couple has been arrested in Lomanyaneng, near Mafikeng, for the murder of their 3-month-old baby girl, North West police said on Monday.

Captain Job Mothibi said the woman, 28, and man, 33, were arrested on Saturday after dogs were seen dragging body parts they had exhumed from a shallow grave near a pit latrine in a neighbour's yard.

The woman told police the baby was born on April 29 and was sickly from birth. She admitted to strangling the child. The man was arrested for conspiring to kill the baby.

Mothibi said the couple would to appear in the Molopo Magistrate's Court on Tuesday. - Sapa

Jeez dude, what will it take for your eyes to open? This shit just doesn't end but still you deny, deny deny.

Sorry if it seems I'm rubbing your nose in it (perhaps I am) but you need to take stock, admit there is one HUGE fucking problem in SA, and move on to figure out ways to deal with it.

Denying it is just not good enough, and you know that, it's damned dishonest as well. Poor babies man, where's you heart for Chrisssakes?

They neglect them, they abuse them, they fuck them, they eat them, they mutilate them for muti, and even their dogs feast on their offspring.

Its fucked up shit and in a way I understand you just want to blank it all out like its never happened. God knows, any sensitive or even normal right-thinking human being would be freaked out by it.

But you don't do the babies any favours by acting like nothing happened. In fact, by clasping your hands over your ears & pretending you never heard the screams, makes you an accomplice in a way. But hey, what the fuck do I know. Thanks for caring, Rooster.

Anonymous said...

THERE ARE NO TOURIST CRIME STATS!!! This was debated in parliament not so long ago with no resolution to date.

As much as you would like to will them into existence, all we have to go by are the conflict of interest web sites posting misconstrued 'facts' and assumptions on the Internet to promote their trade.

They keep "larking" on about nonsense like: "Australia has a higher house burglary rate" or "Black people only kill each other so you are safe".

All I want to know is why we are being kept in the dark about this. The whole thing reeks of dishonesty and I think its about time they come clean. Anything less than total transparence and we end up going down the "ZA Sucks" or "shut up whitey" sites for our info.

Rooster, before you break down every comment with your cognitively distorted mindset on this topic, please bare in mind the fact that you don't have all the answers just because Google told you so. The hard facts are missing here and by trying to deliver such a knock out blow with your tourist post, the only thing you are damaging is your own credibility.

Anonymous said...

Tourism in South Africa is a R66.6bn a year industry. Is this the reason we don't have any real stats on the tourist crime situation?

Satsa(Southern African Tourism Services Association)CEO Michael Tatalias stated the following on 2007-11-29 "more needs to come from government's side. If crime is not stopped, and soon, our tourism industry may not be around to host the visitors that will come for 2010" Now clearly he was wrong about the lack of visitors for 2009/2010 but the fact remains that a man in his "in the know" position doubted the future of his own industry due to such high crime rates in the sector. The good tourist turn out last year is an apparent testament to the effectiveness of the government smoke screen on tourist crime stats.

Prior to this:
"The absence of detailed statistics relating to crime on tourism is hampering efforts to get a true picture of the situation", says South Africa's deputy environment and tourism minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi.

Speaking at a tourism and security conference in Cape Town, the deputy minister said the crime administration system used by the police "does not provide for a distinction between crime against tourists and crime against the general public".

It's 2009 and not much has changed.

2009-03-03: Addressing the TBCSA in Sandton, Johannesburg, on issues facing the tourism sector and its potential for growth. Zuma said,"We are dealing with an abnormal situation in terms of the rate of crime, whatever we do should reflect that" he said.

By my reckoning, if the crime rate against tourist is virtually non existent, like you say, then is our president just trying to extort our hard earned cash for phantom crime fighting projects? And, if our government are "mistaken" then how can we believe anything they say (SAPS crime stats for example).

And then there are these freakishly uncommon events that keep appearing weekly in the press like this one dated 2009-06-30: http://www.news24.com/Content/SouthAfrica/News/1059/5e0b2ab3a1ba473ba512a1e0544e649d/30-06-2009%2009-06/Man_sold_tourists_body_parts

It's no wonder we are confused about the situation. If I just went on personal experience then I would say things are pretty bad, but I realise that this would only constitute an opinion and not a fact. Thing is all I see are opinions and cooked stats everywhere.

The Rooster said...

So what if there are no tourist crim stats. The freakishly few and rare time whenever a tourist has been murdered it has made front page news and the media have jumped all over it. No matter how much you would ejaculate if tousists murders were high, it's simply not true. Keep fantasising though sicko.


This is not aimed at you. To the people trying to use this site to dump off their horror stories under the implication they represent everyday occurences in order to misrepresent the real south africa, it's not going to happen. Find somewhere else to play out your silly racist fuelled little scaremongering.

Anonymous said...

i know this is off topic rooster

but this is something i hope never happens as kings park has many great memorys for me

here is part of the story and the link

Sharks rugby CEO Brian van Zyl, said the issue hadn’t been raised with him.

“That’s the first I’ve heard of it and its absolute nonsense. The first section of our stadium was built in 1995 and since then there have been major renovations. Jordaan’s opinion of Absa is subjective.

“In any case, we have made a promise to all our stakeholders that before we make any decisions regarding this stadium we will consult with them through a transparent process. To date the indication from many of them is they don’t want to move - I guess it could be considered an emotive issue, but it’s about a culture.”

Rob Wagner, managing director of the Western Province Rugby Union, said it was also the first he had heard of it.

“We own the stadium, there is no debt on it and it’s probably one of the oldest rugby grounds in the world. It has heritage and tradition, why would we want to demolish it? I can’t understand how Jordaan could have said that.”

Source: http://www.capetimes.co.za/?fSectionId=&fArticleId=nw20090719211625553C442628

Anonymous said...

"So what if there are no tourist crim stats. The freakishly few and rare time whenever a tourist has been murdered it has made front page news and the media have jumped all over it. No matter how much you would ejaculate if tousists murders were high, it's simply not true. Keep fantasising though sicko".

An irrational response to be sure. Must have touched a nerve.

BTW, I think your relationship with your computer is becoming unhealthy. I can see the cracks starting to form. I would recommend getting out of the house once in a while and enjoying that sweet South African air and remember that your PC is not your schizophrenic best friend. Just a suggestion.

The Rooster said...

An irrational response to be sure. Must have touched a nerve.

BTW, I think your relationship with your computer is becoming unhealthy. I can see the cracks starting to form. I would recommend getting out of the house once in a while and enjoying that sweet South African air and remember that your PC is not your schizophrenic best friend. Just a suggestion.

21 July 2009 1:08 PM

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You touched a nerve by doing what exactly ? I mean , I re-read your post and found nothing interesting or stimulating enough to stop me going into a deep coma. So perhaps if my nervous system is indeed being touched , you might consider touching harder.

Regarding the second part of your post, I'm flattered with your conecrn regarding how I spend my time. That aside please look up the word "schizophrenic" and come back and tell me again how your comment makes no sense. I think you're implying "multiple personality disorder" , which is a common mistake dumbasses make. At least that would make som sense in context.

Anonymous said...

Most people build castles in the sky in their minds eye. Schizophrenics live in those castles. Internet blogsites have a real distorted sense of reality and it's rubbing off on you.Sorry you don't get it.

I re-read my post and I can't see what got you so rilled up either. Certainly nothing that implies that I'm a "sicko". Maybe it's that fact that you don't have the facts and that's a fact.

The Rooster said...

Babies walking around with dogs exumed from shallow graves is of course a disgusting image. And thankfully not something you're ever even remotely likely to see in South Africa. Hence when it occured it made a newspaper headline. What dusgusts me is you would hijack this freakish and horrific story and pretend that's just the common sights of this country. That's plain fucking bullshit and you know it.

The Rooster said...

Most people build castles in the sky in their minds eye. Schizophrenics live in those castles. Internet blogsites have a real distorted sense of reality and it's rubbing off on you.Sorry you don't get it.

I re-read my post and I can't see what got you so rilled up either. Certainly nothing that implies that I'm a "sicko". Maybe it's

------------------------

Thanks doctor Phil Yourheadwithshit. All anecdotal evidence surrounding me everyday is what I formulate my perception of the country from. And none of the scaremongering and alarmist remotelty describes the reality of the country for me and the rest of the middle class. You're the one building irrational fantasy countries in your mind where dogs walk around eating babies as a regular occurance and other such crap. This is what makes you a sicko. You do this to justify your homersickness (you're an expat whoe left here in 1994 I can almost guarantee it). I'm sorry your life abroad is so shitty you need to believe life here is so awful to tolerate your decision to leave. But get over it and stop the bullshit.

Anonymous said...

I seriously doubt that you watch the news or that you have any idea what is going on in south africa at the moment obviously you dont even live in south africa do your self a favour and call the statistics south africa offices and get the latest crime statistics, then you republish your blog on this matter as you are sadly uneducated in the crime happening in south africa at the moment!!

Anonymous said...

You should think about, the almost 80 000 white farmers that were murdered here in the last ten years the you repeat the comment you made that "afrikaners" are aggresive and somthing about their drinking habits... bullshit crime is crime its not a white black thing a criminal is a criminal, he would kill any race of person he can just to steal their money and not have to work for it himself as they are lazy bastards, I have been a victim of crime in south africe and let me tell you it is not a pleasant experiece!! and FYI coutn the persons in our current cabinet that do not have criminal records and please rephrase all comments. Facts make stories not assumptions!!!!!

The Rooster said...

You should think about, the almost 80 000 white farmers that were murdered here in the last ten years the you repeat the comment you made that "afrikaners" are aggresive and somthing about their drinking habits... bullshit crime is crime its not a white black thing a criminal is a criminal, he would kill any race of person he can just to steal their money and not have to work for it himself as they are lazy bastards, I have been a victim of crime in south africe and let me tell you it is not a pleasant experiece!! and FYI coutn the persons in our current cabinet that do not have criminal records and please rephrase all comments. Facts make stories not assumptions!!!!!


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Above is a perfect example of ridiculous hyperbole and alarmist. What a total load of rubbish ! Even the most extreme racist liars going on about Afrikaans genocide (not something to be taken seriousl) typically use a number of 3000 RURAL white people being murdered since 1994 (And that itself is even a over exageratted figure). Bt this maniac? How the fuck does that equal almost 80 000 ?


Then after that whopper of idiocy he askes me to use facts ? Bwahahahahahahaha !

Fuck off noob.

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