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Recently, the current affairs in South Africa have raised some serious flags. Femicide, missing children, protests and xenophobia plague social media posts and news headlines around the country. 

To say South Africa is in a sad state of affairs is an understatement but we’re taking a look at what is happening, how you can keep safe during this time and possibly even make a change.

The current affairs

The current affairs topics seem to centre around four main headlines – femicide, missing children, protests and xenophobia.  

Femicide 

By definition, femicide is the killing of females (being an adult or child) due to their gender. 

The murder statistics in South Africa are terrifying. Statistics from 2017/2018 show that 20 336 people were murdered of which 16 421 deaths were adult men and 2 930 were adult men. This may raise questions of why the outrage about women who were murdered if the amount is significantly lower? 

The answer to this is that the vast majority of women who are murdered are murdered by men and are murdered because they’re women. Men are murdered (more often than not) by men and these murders are not always related to sex crimes nor are they based on gender. 

According to an article by News24, South Africa is rated third in the world with the highest femicide rates. This is something deeply concerning and the safety of women all over our country is constantly in jeopardy. This is why it is vital that important safety measures are known, such as; 

  • Use apps like Life360 and Namola; Life360 is a location-sharing app where you can manage which ‘circles’ of friends and family you wish to share your location with. The Namola app is a South Africa-specific emergency app that allows you to send emergency responders your location and details when you’re in a dangerous situation. You can also share your location with a close loved one on this app.   
  • Keep a can of pepper spray on you (in your bag, in your car, as you walk).
  • Use a GPS to avoid getting lost in unfamiliar places.
  • Always let a friend or family member know where you are, where you are going and when you have arrived – it may sound pedantic but this could be what saves your life.
  • Limit distractions like checking your phone while walking to or from your car.
  • Avoid waiting in your car, driving with the windows open and keep the doors locked.

Missing Children

The rate that children are going missing in South Africa is devastating. This is a horrific thought for parents. There are multiple children missing in South Africa with one case in particular that went viral. A  6-year-old girl was kidnapped in front of her school right in front of her mother. A R 2 million ransom was demanded but due to the attention the case had garnered, the little girl was returned by the kidnappers. This is just one case with a happy ending but this is not the case in most instances. 

Some tips to keep your children safe include;

  • Never leave your child alone in public areas.
  • At social functions and public places like schools, places of worship or anywhere else, write your cell number on the inside of the child’s’ forearm.
  • Teach your child your contact numbers in case they need to get a hold of you.
  • You can buy your child a watch with a tracker inside, this way you can see where your children are, even when they’re not with you 

Protests 

South Africa has become known for its many protests and while these protests are done with due cause, they can spiral out of control.

It is essential to remain “in the know” on your current affairs and the unrest experienced by copious amounts of South Africans. Recently, protests on anti-femicide, poor service delivery and xenophobia are plaguing the streets. It is important to stay safe if you’re close to these protests;

  • Social media can help you find out about various activities
  • Check your usual route before you leave the house to ensure it’s clear
  • While you’re driving, make sure there are no hazards on the road and avoid areas where protests are taking place. 

Xenophobia

Xenophobic violence against Africans in South Africa is spreading and becoming increasingly violent. According to an article by the Mail & Guardian, “outbreak of mob violence and xenophobia was allegedly orchestrated by members of the All Truck Drivers Forum (ATDF), which held mass meetings that went into last weekend in different parts of Gauteng.”

The violence is widespread and has led to the burning and looting of various stores throughout the country and unnecessary harm to many people. 

The xenophobic attacks put South Africa in a terrible light internationally and have generated retaliation from the individuals who are under attack. The best solution is for the government to step in and take control of the situation but until then, it would be best to avoid areas where there is known unrest and to do your best to stay safe during these trying times. 

South Africa is in desperate need of intervention, the country is in a horrible state of disarray and the safety of many South African lives are at risk. Keep safe but if you feel at risk or need any advice on how to enhance your safety, feel free to contact us

Making your safety and security a priority doesn’t need to be a great effort or expense. There are small changes you can make that will make a big difference to your safety and security. This article outlines some tips and tricks that will keep you safe at all times. 

By being conscious of your surroundings and ensuring you are as careful as you can be, you can avoid multiple unnecessarily dangerous situations. 

Tiny Safety tips that will make a big difference

These tips may seem obvious or even a little redundant but they can really help you get out of or avoid some sticky situations. 

Remote jamming

Car remote jamming is a big trend in South Africa. This is when thieves use a remote device to block or jam the locking mechanism in vehicles. It’s so popular because it is a simple and uncomplicated crime to commit. It is difficult to detect with perpetrators leaving quickly before they can be apprehended. 

This means it’s very important to check that your doors are locked before leaving your vehicle. 

Check your doors

 Before you leave your house, you should always ensure all doors and windows are locked. This may sound obvious but it’s very easy for anyone to forget, especially if you’re in a hurry. Next time you leave the house, make a conscious effort to ensure everything is locked to avoid easy access for potential criminals.  

Taxi Services

Using online apps like Uber or Taxify is a convenient way to get from A to B. This is a safer alternative to you driving if you plan on drinking alcohol. 

Be more observant

When you’re stopped at a traffic light, walking in the mall or even out for a run, it is vital to always make sure you are aware of your surroundings. 

When you’re out and about, you can easily fall victim to pickpockets, smash and grabs or something far more dangerous. 

Valuables 

safety

Keep your valuables out of sight and out of reach at all times.

When you’re in the car, don’t keep your handbag or laptop on the seat next to you. Rather keep them in the boot of your car. Don’t leave your cellphone in plain sight either. It’s very easy for criminals to smash your window or reach in and grab your phone. 

When you’re running errands, don’t keep your phone in your back pocket and make sure your valuables are kept close to you. 

Stay in contact 

If you’re planning on going anywhere, even if it’s just to the store, it is wise to let someone know where you’re going.  

If anything happens to you, it would be easier for someone close to you to know something may be wrong if they were aware of where you’re supposed to be. This sounds incredibly tedious but it can truly benefit you in a crisis. 

Why is this important for your safety 

safety

It may sound overly cautious to constantly check that your doors are locked and that your valuables are out of sight or even just to let a loved one know where you are most of the day but these small changes can have a huge impact. 

In today’s society, you can never be too cautious or too safe, it’s a necessity to overthink your safety. This may seem like obvious advice but you’d be surprised and what can happen when something so trivial is overlooked.    

The scary truth behind violent attacks related to taxi services

Travel safety is a genuine no matter who you are. But for C-suite individuals and executives, driving yourself to important meetings or to the airport isn’t always feasible or safe which is when secure transport services become a necessity. Finding a service that is convenient, reliable, cost-effective and safe is not as simple as it sounds. It is difficult to find a company that can tick all of your boxes and meet your requirements. Travel safety

Recently, services like Uber and Taxify have become a popular choice but often these services infringe on your travel safety. These apps are an easy and convenient way for virtually anyone to find a mode of transportation whenever they need it – it’s simply a click away. But what happens when convenience becomes catastrophic?

Attacks on Uber/Taxify Drivers

Travel safety

As the popularity of these services grow, so does the threat on their competition. This has caused a dangerous ripple effect where Uber and Taxify drivers have been subjects of horrific hate crimes. Reports indicate that competitor taxi services attack Uber or Taxify drivers to scare them into not operating anymore.

This is a means of ensuring they are the only taxi service on the market. These taxi services usually don’t have an app that makes it convenient for any individual to find them and quickly make a booking. The attack on taxi drivers is a terrifying prospect for their passengers who simply want to get to their destination in a safe and timely manner. Now you’re always unsure as to whether your taxi will be under attack or not. For C-suite individuals, this uncertainty of if your driver will be attacked or not is incredibly daunting. A c-suite individual may have more to offer an attacker than just a scare tactic on the driver.

Driver orchestrated attacks

 Not only do passengers have to worry if their drivers will be under attack but crime reports have also stated that many attacks are orchestrated by the Uber/Taxify drivers themselves. When a potential driver signs up to become an Uber or Taxify driver, they’re supposed to go through a thorough vetting process.

Background checks, safety screenings and driver competency tests are supposed to be done but it seems that sometimes a snake slithers through the cracks. Reports have shown that there’s often someone hiding in the boot of the car before you get in. The driver will then take you to a different location and both individuals will attempt to rob you of your valuables or get you to withdraw money from your bank account.

Often these attacks are more malicious where women are reported to have been sexually assaulted. Countless reports have indicated that c-suite individuals are the most vulnerable, especially when travelling to the airport. Sometimes the blame for these attacks cannot be put directly on the taxi service.

Some opportunistic criminals have caught on to the idea of pretending to be taxi drivers to lure potential victims in. Not only this, but these taxi drivers have also caught onto a new trend. Most of the time, these drivers fetch you directly from your house, they have your address, they know what your home looks like and now they know that no one is home.

For wealthier individuals, the luxuries they’re able to afford themselves become prevalent to the driver. They will take the opportunity to go back to your home, sometimes with their friends, and will break in and steal whatever they can. The risk on your life, your family and your possessions is too great for you to use these taxi services.

How to ensure you travel safely

There are some things you can do to ensure you are safe while travelling with one of these taxi services. These include;

  • Check the car registration matches with the registration on the app
  • Make sure the driver’s picture and the name is the same as the person picking you up
  • Ask the driver to repeat your name to you
  • Check the boot of the vehicle before getting in
  • Clearly state where you want to go and ensure the route is adhered to
  • Don’t let them come straight to your front door
  • Give your Uber driver an honest rating at the end of the ride – not everyone deserves 5 stars

The safest option for c-suite and executive individuals would be to contact an executive security company to assist you with safe and secure travel management.

Secure travel management

The ultimate way of ensuring your safety is to have us handle your vehicle travel arrangements. Our deep understanding of the areas, situations and threats place us in a unique position. We are able to provide a secure environment for our clients.Travel safety The secure travel solutions we offer begin with a clear understanding of the type of travel you require.

Whether it be business or leisure, the risks associated with the location and other elements of the itinerary will be identified and analysed. We accomplish this by conducting a country assessment and risk analysis. Specific travel planning and contingencies are based on this analysis. Some of our solutions available include pre-travel advance work, secure journey management and personnel tracking.

Secure airport transfers

Airport transfers can become one of the most challenging elements in a planned trip. This can be due to increased criminal activity, political unrest or logistical requirements. We provide Secure airport transfers as well as permanent security drivers. This will give you peace of mind while you travel in either high-risk areas or unfamiliar routes. Our highly trained drivers will ensure you arrive at your destination safely. 

Contact us and let us handle your vehicular travel needs to ensure your travel safety. We are inconspicuous and will ensure you reach your destination without a hitch.