As the summer is knocking on our door, locals and tourists alike are keen to get out and fill their weekends and evenings with all that Cape Town has to offer. There is never want for things to do. However, recent news headlines are bound to mute excitement in exchange for fear of safety. There’s no need to stay locked up at home, as long as you take precautions and remain vigilant. Here are some tips to keep in mind before you head out to enjoy our beautiful hometown.
If you are driving, remember these hints to keep yourself and your car out of harm’s way.
– Always make sure your car is locked while driving and ensure it is properly locked before you walk away.
– Park in well-lit areas at night. Avoid empty streets and alleys.
– Look around before entering your driveway. If you see any suspicious activity, do not enter your property. Drive away and phone the police.
– If you think you are being followed, drive to a busy place or a police station.
– Keep your valuables out of sight when you park. Ideally, don’t leave anything in the car.
If you explore the city on foot, always stay alert and keep these things in mind, especially when painting the town red at night.
– Don’t walk in deserted or dark areas.
– Don’t use your electronics out and about, rather stash them away.
– Plan your route beforehand, so you don’t get lost or seem indecisive.
– Don’t carry large sums of money and don’t show cash or cards in public.
– Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return.
– Make sure not to forget handbags under tables, on the backs of chairs or on restroom hooks.
– Never leave drinks unattended, or accept open drinks from strangers.
Enjoying outdoors activities should not be hindered by thoughts of concern. When planning to hike, visit the beach or any other of the fun sporty things Capetonians do, jot these down as well.
– Only go on routes or visit places that are mapped and officially recognised as destinations.
– Always keep a phone with you in case you need to call for help, but keep it out of sight.
– If there is any kind of emergency at the beach or out in the mountains, immediately call the Sea & Mountain Rescue or the NSRI.
– If someone has ingested a toxic substance or been bitten by a poisonous animal, call the Poisons Information Helpline.
– Avoid going out alone, groups of three or more are considered safer. There are loads of groups on social media you can join that have regular hikes in organised groups.
– Table Mountain Crime Map is useful to know where recent incidents have occurred and which places might be unsafe.
– Never go on hikes or visit beaches after dark.
– In case you come across a fire, immediately call the Fire Department.
Help others the right way
Street children and beggars may approach you. If you wish to help, consider giving food, donating to a registered charity or contact Cape Town Tourism for advice. Various shopping centers also offer food vouchers you can buy to give to people instead of money. You may encounter intimidating behaviour that can make you feel threatened. Do not respond and firmly refuse. The CCID, which provides security in the city area, is available to help, or phone the police if you feel that it’s serious.
Keep these numbers close and don’t hesitate to call them if you feel unsafe or have any type of emergency.
– Emergencies from a mobile: 112
– Emergencies from a landline: 107
– South African Police Service: 10111
– Medical & Fire Emergencies: 021 535 1100
– Table Mountain NP Emergencies: 021 480 7700
– Sea & Mountain Rescue: 021 948 9900
– National Sea Rescue Institute: 082 911
– Poisons Information Helpline of the Western Cape: 0861 555 777
– Baboon Monitors: 071 588 6540
– Shark Spotters: 078 174 4244
– Ambulance: 10177
(SOURCE: CAPE TOWN ETC)