Living in South Africa

Top five safest places to live in South Africa

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Similar to many cities around the world, there are no-go areas in most South African cities but many safe neighbourhoods to live as well.

South Africa is a nation in transition and, as with all change, there is inevitable fallout. One of the main areas of concern in South Africa is safety and security--an area that has taken a bit of a beating in recent years.
Unemployment is one of the major catalysts of crime

The large urban metropolises of Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town have witnessed an unbelievable surge in population in recent years, with more and more rural people making for the city in an effort to find jobs. Many of these sought-after jobs have not materialised, however, leaving unemployment rife. Unfortunately, the result of this growing unemployment is crime.

Refugees add pressure

With other states in Africa facing both an economic and social meltdown, refugees have had no option but to seek for the sun elsewhere. The ‘Rainbow Nation’, with all her opportunities, has become the preferred destination of these desperate victims of war and greed, resulting in even more pressure on the fragile local economy.

Avoid no-go areas in urban centres

As with the vast majority of cities around the world, there are no-go areas in most South African cities, but every single one of them is still a relatively safe place to live in as long as you are vigilant and take the usual precautions.

Top five places that are some of the safest places to live in South Africa

Cape Town
Cape Town is an exciting, modern and culturally diverse city that boasts some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet. The inner city has seen a recent revamp, with a tremendous amount of international money and influence being spent on its urban renewal. Businesses, together with city leaders, have made concerted efforts to great effects to keep the city both safe and clean, and the centre of Cape Town has become one of the safest places to both live and do business in.

The Garden Route
This spectacular area between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth on the East coast of Africa is without a doubt one of the jewels of the nation. Apart from its pure lifestyle, many of the towns along the Garden Route are some of the safest places in which to bring up your family. Estates that offer superior security measures abound in this pristine wilderness area and some of the most foremost golf real estate can be found in George and Knysna.

Port St John’s
The Transkei Wild Coast is one of the last remaining untouched regions of incomparable beauty. Formerly a Bantustan, or black homeland, during the days of the apartheid regime, the Transkei has largely been forgotten by the powers to be. Port St John’s is situated on the Indian Ocean coastline and offers a sleepy, sublime lifestyle for the growing family. Schooling may be an issue later on, but there are excellent high schools in nearby Grahamstown, Port Elizabeth and Durban. Regional poverty remains a challenge, so petty crime does take place but community programmes have done a lot to uplift the locals and there is now a much better understanding between all members of the PSJ community.

Cape St. Francis
This seaside town is situated close to Port Elizabeth and offers a quiet commercial retreat out of season. During the holidays it is a popular destination for local tourists and becomes extremely busy. There are plenty of business options, and first-class secondary and tertiary education is available in nearby PE. This is an ideal place for both young and old.

The West Coast
The west coast of South Africa is sparsely populated, largely due to the fact that it is the dry and arid limb of the nation. There are several small towns all the way up the west coast that are both delightful and safe. Yzerfontein, Churchhaven and St. Helena Bay are probably the pick of the bunch but they all offer a relaxed and secure way of life.


Lavana James / Expatica
Lavana James
writes for Kingswood Golf Estates, which provides a safe community of exclusive homes. Contact them to view their available properties.

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3 Comments To This Article

  • Sharon Mills posted:

    on 1st November 2012, 10:34:15 - Reply

    Im so disappointed that Mpumalanga wasnt mentioned, Especially the Onderburg (Nelspruit - Malelane - Komatipoort) we are always left out in these surveys. having lived in Johannesburg (Northern 'safest' suburbs) Never broken into, Hout Bay (Cape Town) - Mugged in the street and broken into twice, I would BY FAR live in the area i now live in, children can play in the streets, its very well mixed area, all different South Africans, and everyone knows everyone :) LOVE IT.
  • Anita posted:

    on 8th October 2012, 11:29:38 - Reply

    I plan to telephone the insurance companies - they should know which areas are better in JHB. I have a friend who lived there and she was robbed 7 times, however when I was there 12 years ago - I did not have a single incident. I think it definetely makes a difference where you live. Some affluent areas are hit all the time just as much as some of the poorer areas.
  • Richard posted:

    on 15th November 2011, 10:25:39 - Reply

    I fully agree with the above article. If you need to be in a big city for employment or business reasons, Cape Town is the safest and most pleasant city to live in South Africa (and voted among the top 10 cities in the world to live in by a 2010 expat poll - 6th place in fact). If you don't need to be in a big city, one of the best and safest smaller cities to relocate to is George along the Garden Route. It is all the conveniences and modern infrastructure of a bigger city, but the friendliness and atmosphere of a small town. Very little crime, excellent schools, top sporting facilities, a large shopping mall, world-class airport, lots of things to do, and fantastic natural beauty and scenery around, including beaches, forests and mountains. Great for families, great for outdoor life and sports enthusiasts. I have lived here for several years now and it is fantastic, I can see why George is such a popular spot to relocate to.