SOUTH AFRICA

World Cup fans risking their lives in South Africa?

Watch this video, and you probably won't be too keen on going to South Africa next June, no matter how much you love football. A compilation of violent images and terrifying statistics indeed, but is it a fair representation? Read more...

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Watch this video, and you probably won't be too keen on going to South Africa next June, no matter how much you love football. A compilation of violent images and terrifying statistics indeed, but is it a fair representation?

Speculation is mounting over the safety of the 450,000 football fans expected to attend the World Cup in South Africa next year. It's no surprise that foreigners are concerned; even inside the country, 57% of people believe that the murder rate has increased since 1994, according to a study released on Wednesday (Dec. 2) by the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR). The same study also revealed however, that the rate had in fact decreased substantially - by 44% - once population growth is accounted for.

On top of that, travellers are largely unaffected by violent crimes, most of which take place in poor areas. The US Department of State says that "The vast majority of visitors complete their travels in South Africa without incident". 

Meanwhile, the country is spending 1.3 billion rands (117 million euros) on increased security for the event, and setting up temporary embassy branches across the country.

Send us your thoughts if you live in the country or have travelled there recently.

“When 15,000 of us make our way to the cup draw ceremony, we can prove that it can work”

Sipho January is a community liaison officer from Cape Town.

This threat has been blown way out of proportion. I'm not saying we don't have a crime problem in South Africa, but the way some people describe it is a joke to those of us who live in South Africa and experience it day to day.

I think tonight, when 100,000 of us; including myself, make our way to the cup draw ceremony, we can prove that it can work. Most of us will be taking public transport, so it's like a practice for the real thing next year.

I don't know why people want to bring the country down with these threats. We're trying to get the message across online - don't miss out on the most exiting experience of the year because of sensationalist scaremongers."

“Walking down the street here is no different from Paris or London”

Lee Smith is a football fan from Johannesburg.

The main cause of violence here is the huge amount of poverty and the high number of migrants. However, most crime happens in slum areas. If you go to a slum in any country, then your life will be in danger. Nothing's going to happen to you when you're walking down the street. It's no different from Paris or London. When my English friends come over, they don't worry. Tourists just need to stick to the right areas.

Of course they need to beef up security. That's because there are going to be a lot of people coming into the country. We're not used to catering for major football events like European countries are. That's why they're spending a lot of money and time recruiting and training officers for that specific purpose.

Regardless of what people are saying, this is a fantastic country and this event is going to prove that."

“Whoever made it must have had something bad happen to them”

Giles Clinton is a travel agent from Johannesburg.

The images range from 1994 to 2007; a lot of the material is from a TV programme shown on Sundays here called Carte Blanche, largely about corrupt officials. I got the feeling watching it that it was done by a white person, and somebody who must have had something bad happen to them, judging by the time they must have taken putting it together.

There are a lot of people who have become twisted by events in the country. Many of them have left to live elsewhere. I love Africa and what this country has to offer. If my wife or family were killed or hijacked, then I might feel differently too, but I believe the only way to live is to contribute to improvements and not become negative.

People will think they're going to be dodging bullets when they get here after watching this clip! South Africa is a pretty wild place, but after arriving, you realise it's no wilder than many others. Look at Rio [where the Olympic Games 2016 are to be held] or some areas of London - if you spend enough time compiling images of violence, you can create the same clip for many places.

When you travel, you just have to do your research; plan your trip before arriving. I visited Zimbabwe last year and yes there are lots of bad things going on, but as a traveller, I was fine."

The video

Video posted on YouTube here

When FRANCE 24 contacted the person who posted the video, he said "I have had my experiences, and I have had it! (...) Drugs are all around us, rape, murders, assaults, and we have all had to see those close to us affected by it. The story is so outrageous."