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a VirtualTourist member asked on Jun 13, 2009


Staying in pretoria

Hi i ll be moving to pretoria next month being a student and all and a foreigner i am very concerned about the crime rate and the public tranportation. Couls someone please advise me on the places to avoid? I will be staying and a girls christian hostel in arcadia the lady ensured me it is safe but i am still skeptical please help for my stomach is churning in knots! Thanks

4 Answers

answered on 6/13/09 by
a VT member from Sydney

The Pretoria page of this member- PierreZA are very informative, and willgive you an insight into the city.He lives in Pretoria. I suggest that you have a read. You could also email him at [email] if you have any specific questions. I am sure that he will give you honest & helpful replies.

Here is the link to his page

[original VT link]

answered on 6/14/09 by
a VT member from Brisbane

Hi, you are correct to take crime seriously. Safety, after all, is a prime concern when travelling.

As an introduction, have a look at VT tips on Pretoria warnings at:
[original VT link]

Arcadia is close to the Union Building, Loftus Versfeld Stadium (rugby HQ of the Blue Bulls) and the University of Pretoria.

There is a significant amount of street prostitution in Church, Pretorius and Schoeman Streets, and as you'd appreciate, where you find prostitution you'll find related crimes such as drugs, assaults, theft and robberies.

Not exactly sure in which police division Arcadia falls, but both Brooklyn and Sunnyside police stations are nearby and Arcadia will probably resort under one of them. For your info, crime figures for these two policing divisions can be found at:

You'll find some good tips on the VT page above. Things to keep in mind would be the adoption of crime prevention strategies to minimise the potential for falling prey to criminals. Common ones would be:

1. Try and travel in groups.
2. Let someone know your destination and estimated time of arrival.
3. Tell a responsible person when you're expected back from your excursion.
4. Do not advertise items of wealth: jewellery, Ipod, mobile phone, wallets, purses, anything that may be a target for an opportunist criminal.
5. Try not to go out at night.
6. Walk confidently with head erect and taking obvious notice of your surroundings.
7. Never be encumbered with lots of baggage or bags.
8. Maintain clear sightlines. If you are unsure of what may lie ahead, cross the road so that you can see what's ahead.

Public transport in Pretoria is pretty poor. Minibus taxis are common on the roads; however, I would be very hesitant to use these on a regular basis. Aside from questions about their roadworthiness, many road users travel at high speeds and very serious crashes are tragically not uncommon.

Avoid the city centre, avoid Sunnyside, try and avoid going out at night, avoid being at tourist attractions (such as the Union Building) during the late afternoon or at night.

Looking on the bright side, South Africa is hosting the Soccer World Cup next year and I would think they'd throw absolutely everything at clamping down on crime, considering the world's attention focused on the country.

Best of luck and once you've acclimatised you'll have a great time. There are some wonderful sights to see! I know this post probably won't ease your mind, but it's better to be aware and take precautions than being unaware and finding yourself in a difficult spot.

answered on 6/15/09 by
a VT member from Pretoria

Hi..You dont say where you will be studing. Drop me an e-mail with more of your study details, and I will give you more info. I have not heard about the place you will be staying, and Arcadia would not be my 1st choice...I do not like the area, from a residential point especially, even though it should be quiet cheap.

What are you paying rent per month??

I need a bit more info to give you my view.


Mike D

answered on 6/6/10 by
a VT member

Mam, I am a 37yrs married mom of 2..... As a proudly RSA citizen i tell you that Crime is everywhere, you must just be cautious. Where r u staying in Arcadia?

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