U.S. Diplomatic Mission to South Africa Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Violence Against Foreign Nationals

The following message was sent out by Mission South Africa concerning the recent incidents of violence and protest in South Africa. The Embassy recommends that you stay abreast with the current news and updates within South Africa prior to traveling there.
As always exercise good personal security and vigilance when traveling outside Maseru; avoid large crowds and demonstrations.

Security Message for U.S. Citizens: In South Africa, Violence Against Foreign Nationals

On April 15, there were incidents of violence and protest directed at foreigner nationals in the Johannesburg central business district (CBD). The South African Police Service (SAPS) has responded with increased staff and patrols. In the afternoon of April 16, there were additional reports of attacks against immigrants from elsewhere in Africa in most of the informal settlements and their surrounding areas such as Primrose, Germiston, Dawnpark, Reigerpark, as well as Benoni, Boksburg, and Actonville. The last three localities named are located near O.R. Tambo International Airport. There are no reported disruptions in transportation, and no disruptions of operations for the U.S. Consulate General in Johannesburg. No areas have been designated as “off limits”, however U.S. Consulate General Johannesburg security personnel strongly advises U.S. citizens to use caution when traveling to or through places where there has been violence, and to update themselves via radio/TV news on the situation before traveling to areas where violence or looting has occurred.

Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. You should avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in South Africa enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at http://Travel.State.Gov. Step enrollment gives you the latest security updates and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for South Africa. For additional information, refer to our Travelers Checklist.

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

The U.S. Embassy in Pretoria and U.S. Consulates General in Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban are located at the addresses below. The U.S. Embassy in Pretoria does not have a consular section and does not provide consular services to U.S. citizens. If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, outside of business hours, contact the nearest U.S. Consulate General at the emergency after-hours number listed below.

U.S. Consulate General, Cape Town
(Covering Western Cape, Eastern Cape, and Northern Cape provinces)
2 Reddam Avenue
Westlake, Cape Town
Tel: 021-702-7300 (outside South Africa: +27 21-702-7300)
After-hours emergencies: 079-111-0391 (outside South Africa: +27-79-111-0391

U.S. Consulate General, Durban
(Covering KwaZulu-Natal Province)
Old Mutual Building, 31st floor
303 Dr. Pixley Kaseme Street
Tel: 031-305-7600 (outside South Africa +27-31-305-7600)
After-hours emergencies: 079-111-1445 (outside South Africa +27-79-111-1445)

U.S. Embassy to the Republic of South Africa
(Note: The Embassy does not provide consular services)
877 Pretorius Street
Arcadia, Pretoria
Tel: 012-431-4000 (outside South Africa: +27-12-431-4000)