Safety and Security
Personal Safety Awareness in General
Please note that you are responsible for your own personal safety during any trip abroad.
Security teams and surveillance cameras are on duty around-the-clock. Like many major cities, Durban has both good and bad areas. It is advisable when walking in Durban, particularly at night, that you should be aware of people around you, and ideally you should not walk alone but in a group. Highly visible displays of wealth should be avoided, and it is not advisable to look like a “typical tourist” with cameras and binoculars strung around your neck. Do not leave valuables unattended.
Here are some tips that you may find useful during the ICANN 47 meeting:
- Be crime conscious - be aware of crime opportunities at all times.
- Be aware of your surroundings and the people around you.
- Know all emergency numbers.
- Trust your instinct.
- Avoid talking to strangers.
- Avoid going onto a congested street where you cannot even walk properly, that is where you will find criminals pick pocketing.
- Avoid displaying valuables where criminals can see them.
- Walk in well-lit busy streets and in a group, if possible.
- Keep your cellular phone away from the public eye.
- Consult hotel staff on possible tourist destinations and seek advice on preferred routes.
Emergency Services & Ambulance 10177 or from a mobile phone 112
Tourism Safety Initiative 0861 874 911
Identifying a member of the South African Police Service
Members of the South African Police Service must carry an identification card stating the member’s name, rank, service number and photograph.
You have the right to request members in civilian clothes and members in uniform to identify themselves with their identification cards.
For your own safety it is important to remember the following universal travel tips
At the Airport
- Watch out for staged mishaps – like someone bumping into you or spilling a drink – this could be a ploy to divert your attention and steal your bag and passport.
- When seeking directions, proceed to marked information counters only.
- Do not take cabs that have been recommended by people standing outside the airport terminal.
At Your Accommodation
- Store valuables in the safety deposit box.
- Keep your room locked.
- If someone knocks, check who it is before opening the door. Contact reception if you have any reason for concern.
- Make sure that luggage is only given to the bell staff, and a receipt is issued for stored luggage.
- Do not leave unattended valuables on chairs, under tables or on restroom hooks.
On the Street
- Avoid an ostentatious display of expensive jewellery, cameras, mobile phones and other valuables.
- Keep your handbag closed or zipped, and your wallet in an inside pocket and not in the rear pocket of your trousers. Do not leave them unattended. It is ill-advised to carry large sums of money with you.
- Do not walk around talking on your mobile phone in the street and do not leave your phone unattended.
- Exchange your currency at a bank or at the hotel, not on the street.
- At night, stay away from dark, isolated areas. It is always better to explore in groups and to stick to well-lit, busy streets.
- Do not ask strangers to take group pictures, no matter how friendly they may seem.
In Your Vehicle
- Plan your route in advance, keep the doors locked and windows up at all times.
- Do not leave your mobile phone or other valuables where they are visible from outside the vehicle. Rather lock valuables in the boot (trunk) before your departure.
- At night, park in well-lit areas.
- Never pick up strangers or hitchhikers.
- If in doubt about the safety of an area, phone a police station for advice and help.
- Make sure you have the number of the car rental company at hand in case you get stranded.
ATM and Credit Cards
- Credit card transactions must be processed in your presence.
- Try and keep a backup credit card and cash in a safe place where you are staying.
- At the ATM, be alert at all times. If you see anything or anybody suspicious, stop your transaction and leave.
Lost or stolen bank cards
Please ensure that you have the contact details for your bank or credit card company in case a lost or stolen card has to be reported.
Lost or Stolen Mobile Phones
Inform your network provider of your loss:
- Cell C: dial 140 from Cell C numbers or 084 140 from other cellular phone networks.
- MTN: dial 173 (pre-paid) or 808 (contract) from MTN numbers or 083 1173 from a land line or other cellular phone networks.
- Vodacom: dial 111 from a Vodacom number or 082 111 from a landline.
You will receive a reference number to prove that your cellular phone has been blacklisted.
Report the loss of your cellular phone to your nearest police station by providing the reference number of your blacklisted cellular phone. The police will register a case.
If you make use of a service provider from your country, please ensure that you have their contact details with you to report a lost phone.
Should you lose your passport, report the loss as soon as possible to your country's Embassy or High Commission or Consul General and to the local police. For a full list of embassies and consulates in South Africa, visit http://www.dirco.gov.za/foreign/forrep/index.htm