Protest-related Violence in Soweto

U.S. Diplomatic Mission to South Africa

Protests over service delivery in Soweto, Gauteng, have continued into a second day with individuals burning tires, blocking roads, confronting motorists, and threatening to burn down houses in the area.  The protestors have been engaging in sporadic violent clashes with police.

Media reports indicate that the protests involve approximately 500 individuals and have thus far been confined to the Orlando West neighborhood, including Vilakazi Street and Khumalo Main Road.  The affected area also includes the former residence of Nelson Mandela, a popular tourist destination.  South African Police Service (SAPS) and Metro Police are on scene and attempting to control the situation.  SAPS are responding to these incidents, but U.S. citizens should avoid all areas where these incidents are taking place until the violent activities have ended.

Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates. Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security and follow instructions of local authorities.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in South Africa enroll in the STEP program at travel.state.gov. STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you do not have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for South Africa. For additional information, refer to the “Traveler’s Checklist” on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. Embassy in Pretoria and U.S. Consulates General in Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban are located at the addresses below. The U.S. Embassy in Pretoria does not have a consular section and does not provide consular services to U.S. citizens. If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, outside of business hours, contact the nearest U.S. Consulate General at the emergency after-hours number listed below.

U.S. Consulate General, Johannesburg
(Covering Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, North West, and Free State provinces)
1 Sandton Drive (corner of Rivonia and Sandton Drive)
Sandhurst, Johannesburg
Tel: 011-290-3000 (outside South Africa: +27-11-290-3000)
After-hours emergencies: 079-111-1684 (outside South Africa: +27-79-111-1684)

U.S. Consulate General, Cape Town
(Covering Western Cape, Eastern Cape, and Northern Cape provinces)
2 Reddam Avenue
Westlake, Cape Town
Tel: 021-702-7300 (outside South Africa: +27-21-702-7300)
After-hours emergencies: 021-702-7300 (outside South Africa: +27-21-702-7300)

U.S. Consulate General, Durban
(Covering KwaZulu-Natal Province)
Old Mutual Building, 31st floor
303 Dr. Pixley Kaseme Street
Tel: 031-305-7600 (outside South Africa: +27-31-305-7600)
After-hours emergencies: 079-111-1445 (outside South Africa: +27-79-111-1445)

U.S. Embassy to the Republic of South Africa
(Note: this location does not provide consular services)
877 Pretorius Street
Arcadia, Pretoria
Tel: 012-431-4000 (outside South Africa: +27-12-431-4000)
After-hours emergencies: 012-431-4000