Johannesburg: United in Development
By By David Esler firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Business & Commercial Aviation
The traditionally high levels of in-country poverty have contributed to a commensurate crime rate. The Johannesburg city government has made the reduction of street crime a priority in a major effort to redevelop and revitalize the city center, which began a deterioration in the early 1990s. Also, in the federal government's preparations for the World Cup, security and law-enforcement consultants from other countries were invited to develop strategies to mitigate especially street crime. While some success was achieved, there are still areas of Johannesburg that probably should be avoided by visitors. So, Bartholomew advised, “Be cautious on the street; stay within the areas recommended by your hotel. Exercise normal precautions when downtown.”
Often, cabs hired off the street can be risky, so use only transportation that has been vetted by your hotel or handler, and explore the city in groups when you go out at night.
Another precaution involves HIV/AIDS, which has devastated Africa in general and South Africa in particular, where 5.7 million people are believed to be infected with the immunodeficiency disease. The World Health Organization estimated that in just 2007 alone, 350,000 deaths occurred as a result of AIDS, ranking South Africa number one in the world in terms of AIDS-related mortality. Food- and water-borne infectious diseases, such as hepatitis A, typhoid fever and bacterial diarrhea, are a serious concern, too, as is sexually transmitted syphilis.
Reportedly, the safest district to stay in — and the one where many of the financial institutions and businesses formerly headquartered downtown have now migrated — is Sandton, a 20-min. drive from Lanseria. It hosts many luxury hotels, a convention center, extensive retail and office areas, restaurants and is a favorite with tourists as well. BCA