Crime in Cape Town, South Africa

Crime rates in Cape Town, South Africa

Level of crime
84.36 Very High
Crime increasing in the past 3 years
82.56 Very High
Worries home broken and things stolen
69.79 High
Worries being mugged or robbed
74.24 High
Worries car stolen
65.09 High
Worries things from car stolen
75.33 High
Worries attacked
66.32 High
Worries being insulted
57.60 Moderate
Worries being subject to a physical attack because of your skin color, ethnic origin, gender or religion
52.47 Moderate
Problem people using or dealing drugs
76.20 High
Problem property crimes such as vandalism and theft
76.96 High
Problem violent crimes such as assault and armed robbery
80.54 Very High
Problem corruption and bribery
84.11 Very High

Safety in Cape Town, South Africa

Safety walking alone during daylight
47.32 Moderate
Safety walking alone during night
15.39 Very Low

Contributors: 628

Last update: March 2023

These data are based on perceptions of visitors of this website in the past 3 years.

If the value is 0, it means it is perceived as very low, and if the value is 100, it means it is perceived as very high.

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22 Comments so far
Anonymous on Oct 02, 2022:
These are the following things that happened,I was 10 years old and saw a woman being raped by her son on the Cape Flats. Her husband was brutally stabbed at the same time. One of my classmates when I was 19 was stabbed outside Durban University for hid watch, he died. My best friend was shot outside a petrol station, she survived, but died at 39 from alcoholism and anxiety. My sister was 34 and my whole family was held in a house position, my sister had a knife round her neck, the next door neighbour had been decapitated, this was in Cape Town itself. My parents had to leave overnight, they were tipped that they were going to be executed the next morning by factory workers. One of my friends was held at knifepoint and they tried to bite her finger off for her wedding ring. Some employees of my parents were taken off and abducted for a week in the bush, they were lucky to survive. Many of my parents staff had been raped by the time they were 20. Another close friends These are the following things that happened, number one, I was 10 years old and saw a woman being raped by her son on the Cape Flats. Her husband was brutally stabbed at the same time. One of my classmates when I was 19 was stabbed outside Durban University on his watch, he died. My best friend was shot outside a petrol station, she survived, but died at 39 from alcoholism and anxiety. My sister was 34 and my whole family was held in a house position, my sister had a knife round her neck, the next door neighbour that might have been decapitated, this was in Cape Town itself. My parents had to leave overnight, they were tipped that they were going to be executed the next morning Buy factory workers. One of my friends was held at knifepoint and they tried to bite your finger off for her wedding ring. Some employees of my parents were taken off and abducted for a week in the bush, they were lucky to survive. Many of my parents staff had been raped by the time they were 20. brother was stabbed on payday, he survived. Someone I worked with made a guy drink petrol and made room light a cigarette and watching burn to death. I have seen for people being run over by cars at different times. Once driving round Johannesburg someone threw a stone on the motorway at 10 at night and tried to hijack us. Another friend of mine was carjacked and abducted for 10 hours and lucky to live.
Tj nicolas on Oct 02, 2022:
These are the following things that happened, number one, I was 10 years old and saw a woman being raped by her son on the Cape Flats. Her husband was brutally stabbed at the same time. One of my classmates when I was 19 was stabbed outside Durban University on his watch, he died. My best friend was shot outside a petrol station, she survived, but died at 39 from alcoholism and anxiety. My sister was 34 and my whole family was held in a house position, my sister had a knife round her neck, the next door neighbour that might have been decapitated, this was in Cape Town itself. My parents had to leave overnight, they were tipped that they were going to be executed the next morning Buy factory workers. One of my friends was held at knifepoint and they tried to bite your finger off for her wedding ring. Some employees of my parents were taken off and abducted for a week in the bush, they were lucky to survive. Many of my parents staff had been raped by the time they were 20.
Jordan on Sep 22, 2022:
Most of SA is unsafe, my family and I have mostly experienced harsh racism, getting mugged, almost getting stabbed, people stealing stuff from our car (this most often) and getting our house broken into... I've also seen someone get beat up near a school next to a busy road, and this is in areas considered generally safe (except for the almost getting stabbed, harsh racism and beat up near school, those were only in poor areas). If you're coming to visit South Africa, always be with at least one other person, never go anywhere alone. If you're planning on moving to SA, don't, you can do better somewhere else...

Some Replies on the comments I see here:
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All people bashing places like Johannesburg and Cape Town are disgruntled white people who are disappointed that South Africa hasn't descended into chaos like they thought it would. Infac, they're better that the blacks have made it a better place than they did
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No, it's because it is actually unsafe there, try to look past racism for once, don't just blame everything on everyone that is not you color, this is how racism hate-crimes start. This is not the fault of any race, this is the fault of bad leadership.

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Cape Town is not safe for people because it has a high crime rate.
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I have found it to be somewhat safe, depends highly on where you live, so if you go there, you have to make sure to choose a safe area. Be careful of people who look high, they most likely are and are very unpredictable and usually carry a weapon, this is true for even the safe areas

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To all the people that try to be smart ,your not,use tour guides, stay away from no go zones don`t go out after dark,if your driving keep space between cars at stops and red lights ,high jacking is a crazy problem here,stay in the tourist zones and u should be fine
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Good point! I have heard of people throwing rocks down bridges onto cars, then when they stop people jump out from the grass next to the road and hijack the car or just rob everyone in it

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My wife and I had a knife pulled on us last night in Cape Town, two young men asking for my money, phone and jewellery. Somehow we managed to run away but it was extremely scary and has tinged my holiday experience
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I'm happy to hear you got away! It's really sad to see this happen
BR on Aug 13, 2022:
How disillusioned are people when it comes to defending South Africa. The country is a beautiful place, ruined by high crime, and poverty causing the crime to escalate.
Originally from SA, I was lucky enough to leave the country years ago, and I haven't looked back. Hearing my mother who's family still live there, get a call every few years of another member being shot for something dumb, is absurd. Not a single one of my family members have been killed after leaving SA, but the ones who stay have been killed for dumb reasons. One was shot in front of his child in his drive way, with a stray bullet hitting a 11year old child in the back, just because he couldn't agree to a loan for a man.
A child saw his father shot, and was shot himself outside his home, because his father did his job. Absurd how people are saying SA is safe.

If you do visit SA, make sure you know people who grew up there. If you dont have family, be extremely careful, and research security measures you can take, and precautions to take note of. Just be vigilant if you decide to go to SA. It's a beautiful country with gorgeous views, just sadly ruined by the populace. It always has been ruined by the populace, be it during apartheid, or after. Crime is killing that country, and people still defend it.
Anonymous on May 07, 2022:
I encourage people to visit SA. I moved here from Germany and I've had a blast. I always read about crime in the news but have never experienced it myself; do not know anyone who has been affected by crime either. Democracy in this country means that reporting is done very well unlike some places who choose to underreport so as to keep a clean image
Anonymous on May 07, 2022:
All people bashing places like Johannesburg and Cape Town are disgruntled white people who are disappointed that South Africa hasn't descended into chaos like they thought it would. Infac, they're better that the blacks have made it a better place than they did.
Anonymous on Mar 07, 2022:
Cape Town is not safe for people because it has a high crime rate.
Anonymous on Oct 21, 2021:
I'm writing from a large US metropolis with a high murder rate. I've visited Cape Town and PE a couple times. My experience was super enjoyable, zero violence, a bit of begging but not worse than my American home city. The South Africans I met were lovely people. My exposure in ZA was limited to safer locations but I did visit Khayelitsha, daytime and Ubered around town in the PM.
Martin on Jul 05, 2021:
To all the people that try to be smart ,your not,use tour guides, stay away from no go zones don`t go out after dark,if your driving keep space between cars at stops and red lights ,high jacking is a crazy problem here,stay in the tourist zones and u should be fine
Anonymous on May 15, 2021:
The point being that, unlike the countries below, South Africa records nearly all of it's murders. If you think it's 5 times the global average but miss the real reason why it's 5 times the global average then you're thick. There's no way SA is 4th, take your sights down by 10X.

The crime in countries below us would melt your face off my self-absorbed South African. I don't know if you have reading and retention/comprehenson issues but this has been clearly stated several times. We can just take a short trip south anywhere @ random and chances are we're in a more murderous country.
Anonymous on May 14, 2021:
U.S. DOS Travel Risk levels for crime (the lowest on level 1s aren't needed). Excl. war, terror, politics, ethnic and religious slaughter etc. (much of these are murder and crime anyway, but I digress):

2) low
2.3) low but with high areas
2.4) low but with very high areas
3) high
3.4) high but with very high areas
4) very high

Corruption: 1 (Denmark, New Zealand) to 179 (Somalia, South Sudan)

Country> Crime risk/corruption

AFG> 4/165; BFA> 4/86; CAF> 4/146; HTI> 4/170; LBY> 4/173; MLI> 4/129; PNG> 4/142; SOM> 4/179; SSD> 4/179; VEN> 4/176; COD> 3.4/170; HND> 3.4/157; NGA> 3.4/149; BDI> 3/165; TCD> 3/160; GNB> 3/165; CIV> 3/104; LBN> 3/149; NER> 3/123; SDN> 3/174; BRA> 2.4/94; CMR> 2.4/149; COL> 2.4/92; ECU> 2.4/92; JAM> 2.4/69; KEN> 2.4/124; MRT> 2.4/134; MEX> 2.4/124; PAN> 2.4/111; PER> 2.4/94; PHL> 2.4/115; TTO> 2.4/86; GTM> 2.3/149; MOZ> 2.3/149; ZAF> 2/69

https://allcountrycode.com/
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/
https://www.transparency.org/en/cpi/2020/index/

Sorted A to Z and by crime risk.

Very telling when you use unbiased sources and look at how many are ranked worse. South Africa (ZAF) is only on 2 for crime and has an equally paltry 69 for corruption. The DOS themselves only rate the country high risk for Corona.
Anonymous on Jan 31, 2021:
If you're thinking of planning a post-Covid trip to Cape Town and South Africa, don't.
You think your home city in US or UK is dangerous?
Multiply it by 50.

How can I put this clearly?

There is a high chance you will be mugged.
Got it?
Anonymous on Sep 07, 2020:
According to the Mexican Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice, who annually publish a global list ranking the world's 50 most violent cities, Cape Town is the 8th most violent city in the world:

https://www.capetownetc.com/news/cape-town-ranked-8th-most-violent-city-in-world/

"If you only look at the numbers and not averages, Cape Town has recorded the highest number of murders of all countries in the top 50 – it has 3 065 murders in a population of 4.5-million residents."

"Four South African cities have been ranked among the world’s most violent, and Cape Town came in at number eight."

"The list is dominated by cities in South America, South Africa and Jamaica."
Anonymous on Sep 04, 2020:
Reading through these comments from American foreigners who have never been to South Africa really shows how notoriously dumb they are. The official amount of murders according to police statistics, which only includes cases where police can 100% certainly declare a murder has been committed, is only 22 000 per year for a small population of roughly 55 million people living in South Africa. There are 58 people murdered on average each day in South Africa. The South African murder rate is 36 per 100 000, which is just 5 times as high as the international murder rate of 7 people per 100 000:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-07-31/south-african-murders-increase-to-highest-in-more-than-a-decade

https://businesstech.co.za/news/government/421424/south-africa-crime-stats-2020-everything-you-need-to-know/

I am in total awe, but I heartily welcome all you brainwashed, ignorant fools to come and visit Cape Town or any metropolis in South Africa. Doesn't matter to me, actually I will be glad since you are boosting the South African economy. The more of you come and spend your money here the better :) Just remember don't ever heed sensible, good advice, come and find out for yourselves.
Diego on Aug 29, 2020:
It's not a safe city, at all. Cape Tonians are aggressive and you don't understand what do they want from you. Driving in Cape Town is insane.
Anonymous on Mar 10, 2020:
Met many South Africans who ran away from SA siding crime in Dubai ? Meant Cape Town !
Raf on Mar 10, 2020:
live in dubai traveled to cape town many times, never had problems. Felt safe at all times. Met many South Africans who ran away from SA siding crime in Dubai ? Only an excuse to run away from post-apartheid days. Listening to the Dubai SA community one would think what a terrible crime ridden place. Lot of rubbish, they ran away from privilege !! Go visit cape town enjoy it, it is lovely, safe and great entertainment. BTW am not Caucasian ? And guess am actually looking to give up Dubai and live permanently in SA. Now thats one for the expats from SA in Dubai !!
Nicky C on Feb 14, 2020:
My wife and I had a knife pulled on us last night in Cape Town, two young men asking for my money, phone and jewellery. Somehow we managed to run away but it was extremely scary and has tinged my holiday experience
#Mike on Feb 08, 2020:
BTW, Kate is more than welcome to go into greater detail about her experiences. Hopefully providing some verifiability with it.

I don't expect a response, didn't before.
Mike on Nov 12, 2019:
This is directed to Kate, another 'all my family were tortured and killed' merchant.

How long did you spend on News24 compiling that Diarrhea? Butt hurt the migrant caravan is coming from countries that rape yours for crime huh?

Cape Town has turned into Mogadishu as well!

Get a life you frothing-at-the-mouth lunatic.
Anonymous on Nov 10, 2019:
@Kate, sure *wink*

Try actually living in a dangerous country before the bizarre trying-to-shock-people-with-our-crime bahavior.

Also, book a psychiatrist.
Ted on Aug 17, 2019:
My wife and l have visited Cape Town twice now, without any problems. The place we stay at take care to see we're not going places that are not safe. Most times we'll go by taxi to dinner at night unless we know the place well. Perhaps we've been fortunate to have a problem free visit. It breaks my heart to read stories of the crime rates and incidents as we've been charmed by the people we've met across the country, they don't deserve this. Many of the comments here are good advice. Don't act stupid or go where you have no business going and you should be fine. As for the don't look like a tourist comment. Forget it, you'll stand out as a non local regardless of what you do, those who watch for it will pick that out straight away. We hope to go back again if we can, sadly it's far away and expensive to get there for us.