Crime in Cape Town, South Africa

Crime rates in Cape Town, South Africa

Level of crime
84.63 Very High
Crime increasing in the past 3 years
83.18 Very High
Worries home broken and things stolen
70.67 High
Worries being mugged or robbed
74.57 High
Worries car stolen
65.11 High
Worries things from car stolen
74.86 High
Worries attacked
66.92 High
Worries being insulted
58.04 Moderate
Worries being subject to a physical attack because of your skin color, ethnic origin, gender or religion
52.70 Moderate
Problem people using or dealing drugs
75.58 High
Problem property crimes such as vandalism and theft
76.89 High
Problem violent crimes such as assault and armed robbery
80.36 Very High
Problem corruption and bribery
84.54 Very High

Safety in Cape Town, South Africa

Safety walking alone during daylight
46.51 Moderate
Safety walking alone during night
14.50 Very Low

Contributors: 532

Last update: July 2021

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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21 Comments so far
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

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:

"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:

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.
Kate on Feb 24, 2019:
One more thing: "South Africans have an astonishing weakness for drama ...", according to "Anonymous".

Try living in South Africa.

I come from a middle class family, well educated and have always loved in "safe" areas in South Africa.

Yet ... I know PERSONALLY the following attacks in CLOSE friends and family:

1. Attack on cousin's business. Broke his back and palate. Also burned his security guards alive.

2. Close family friend robbed and killed at his car. For his wallet.

3. Close family friend burgled as she was closing her business. They killed her as she had already banked her takings and had nothing to give them.

4. Sister if no. 3 was carjacked when her mother was driving. She was pregnant and could not reach to undo her seatbelt quick enough, so they shot her and pulled her out. Her baby survived at 34 weeks, she did not.

5. Cousin was burgled as she drove into her driveway. Her large dogs scared them off, but not before one of the perpetrators pulled her earrings from her ears, tearing the lobes through.

6. Brother in law attacked in his home when he confronted a burglar in the early morning hours. Cut through his hand, but neighbours had given chase as the burglar had tried the house next door. Their having a gun saved my BIL.

7. Elderly family friend brutally raped in her home and left for dead.

I feel sick sharing even those stories. And I am ONE person. I have plenty more, but there is no point.

This is simply NOT a safe country. End of.
Kate on Feb 24, 2019:
I lived in Cape Town for over 25 years. I have also lived in Central London, South EAST London and Vamcouver, Canada.

It is mind blowing that Americans are telling South Africans how safe Cape Town is. Are you for real?!

This garbage "migrant caravan" story is not only a lie, but it sickens me.

As for Cape Town:

1. DO NOT WALK ALONE AT NIGHT. At all. Be careful in small groups.
2. PREFERABLY, don't go out after dark if you are a tourist.
3. DO NOT drive with windows down.
4. DO NOT stop at a red light if you suspect there are loiterers who may carjack you.
5. DO NOT EVER try to hold onto a bag if someone threatens you ... they WILL NOT THINK TWICE about stabbing or shooting you.
6. As many trustworthy police officers as there are (my brother was one), there are at least 0.5 dirty ones.
7. Security guards are not always to be trusted either. Particularly if you are a woman/group if women travelling.
8. THE COUNTRY IS JUST NOT SAFE. End of. As a tourist you are advised to use guided tours. It's your safest choice.
Anonymous on Feb 13, 2019:
"Amanda", we already have countries on our border that trounce South Africa in a crime competition. The average American isn't going to be frightened of South Africa in the slightest when we have far worse next door. A whole chain of them, from Mexico down to Colombia. These are significantly more violent, corrupt countries according to experts.

Unlike above, tourist murders almost never happen in Cape Town and across South Africa more widely. South Africans have an astonishing weakness for drama, pretending to live in the aforementioned Colombia or Mexico is a pet favorite of theirs.

South Africans are "desensitized" you say? "South Africans"??? XD You do have the correct nationality, right? Lol, ok. XD XD XD

You sound a lot like the expat on MyBB, Intel/Mr Kalashnikov. He has a different username now. Mirror? Something like that! XD
Amanda on Feb 02, 2019:
I live in America. I got so depressed I wanted to move away. So I googled this City. After reading what you guys say about the city, you truly have no idea how scary everything you say about this city is to me. I live in small town. I realize “Crime” is everywhere. However why is it this way? For me a tourist wanting to visit, but fearing I may die??? Where I Live it isn’t anything like you speak of. Your desensitized to crime and maybe are starting to not realize it as years go by more and more. I so wish I could visit your country safely.
Anonymous on Oct 27, 2018:
The scale of exaggeration in his comment is scary. It sounds like Mali he's describing, not South Africa.

The forced use of caps to try and scare people lmfao #Embarrassing
Anonymous on Oct 27, 2018:
"#Anonymous on Nov 02, 2016 :
What a lot of crap, written by stupid people and their fearful perveptions. I mean 'Don't go out after 10 pm?'"

You're referring to 'Matthews' right? Yeah!

Can you imagine him trying to survive in Honduras? Just another South African with a very poor mental attitude.
Sam on Aug 23, 2018:
Do not go walking after dark. After sunset, just stay in hotel or go by taxi. Many thieves are standing on sidewalks at night. Gangs. At night, go out by car only and be careful at traffic light stops. Safer than Johannesburg.