Bri­tish soc­cer fans get warn­ing about pit­falls of vis­it­ing SA for 2010

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - TANYA WATER­WORTH

WATCH out for ATM fraud and “pru­dently drive around stones in the mid­dle of the road” put there by gun-tot­ing hi­jack­ers.

Th­ese travel tips are part of the com­pre­hen­sive guide from the Bri­tish For­eign Of­fice made avail­able for UK soc­cer fans vis­it­ing South Africa for the World Cup.

Of­fi­cial ad­vice from the For­eign Of­fice warns of a va­ri­ety of dan­gers, from armed rob­bers, card cloning and fake soc­cer tick­ets to a preva­lent HIV/Aids pan­demic, cholera flare-ups and in­flated ac­com­mo­da­tion prices.

And the alert but­ton should be on from the mo­ment fans land at OR Tambo In­ter na­tional Air­port, the guide tells UK fans. “Dur­ing 2007 and 2008 there were a num­ber of in­ci­dents in­volv­ing for­eign­ers be­ing fol­lowed from OR Tambo In­ter­na­tional Air­port in Joburg to their des­ti­na­tions by car and then robbed, of­ten at gun­point.”

“We rec­om­mend you ex­er­cise par­tic­u­lar cau­tion in and around the air­port and ex­tra vig­i­lance when driv­ing away.

“As else­where, thieves like to op­er­ate at in­ter na­tional air­ports and bus and rail­way sta­tions. Keep your bag­gage with you at all times.”

Travel tips de­scribe pass­port theft as “com­mon”, with 871 pass­ports re­ported stolen be­tween April 2008 and March 2009. “It is usu­ally op­por­tunist and non-vi­o­lent, al­though some are taken dur­ing mug­gings.”

Other ad­vice in­cludes stay­ing com­pletely clear of ar­eas such as Berea and Hill­brow in Joburg, hi­jack­ing haz­ards on the roads to Kruger Na­tional Park, and pos­si­ble at­tacks on hik­ers around Ta­ble Moun­tain.

The For­eign Of­fice ad­vice also states, “Be vig­i­lant at all times in Dur­ban’s city cen­tre and beach­front area.

“In all ar­eas of South Africa, you should be cau­tious when out af­ter dark. Streets, even in ur­ban ar­eas, are not brightly lit at night.”

And some of the travel tips – in un­der­stated Bri­tish style – com­ment on the haz­ards of driv­ing on South African roads, where “the stan­dard of driv­ing in South Africa can vary greatly and there are many fa­tal ac­ci­dents ev­ery year.”

Travel in­sur­ance is highly en­cour­aged, as “not hav­ing in­sur­ance could cost over £25 000 (R294 000) in med­i­cal bills and air evac­u­a­tion.”

Yet amid this long list of po­ten­tial threats to life and limb in South Africa, the For­eign Of­fice does in­clude a few lines of com­fort to Eng­land’s soc­cer-loving sup­port­ers.

“How­ever, most cases of crime oc­cur in the town­ships and in ar­eas away from the main tourist des­ti­na­tions.

“The South African au­thor­i­ties give high pri­or­ity to pro­tect­ing tourists, and the risk to vis­i­tors trav­el­ling to the main tourist des­ti­na­tions is low.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.