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Durban, South Africa

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Travel Infomation Description

Road Conditions and Safety: Road conditions are generally good in South Africa, but the road traffic death rate is nearly three times higher in South Africa than in the United States. The high incidence of road traffic mortality is due to a combination of poor driving, limited enforcement of traffic laws, road rage, aggressive driving, distracted driving, and driving under the influence of alcohol. Use extreme caution driving at night. U.S. Mission employees are prohibited from driving after dark outside of major metropolitan areas, except for highway travel between Pretoria and Johannesburg. Traffic lights are frequently out of order. 

Traffic Laws: Traffic in South Africa moves on the left, and the steering wheel is on the right-hand side of the car. Under South African law, all occupants of motor vehicles equipped with seatbelts are required to wear them while the vehicle is in operation. Texting or talking on a cell phone without a hands-free unit while driving is illegal. Treat all intersections with malfunctioning traffic lights as a four-way stop.

South African law does not require an international driver?s license. A valid driver?s license from any U.S. state or territory that has the signature and photo of the driver is valid to drive in South Africa for stays of less than six months.

Please refer to the Road Safety page for more information. Also, visit the websites of South African Tourism and the South African National Roads Agency for more information regarding local transportation trends and laws.

Public Transportation:

Taxis: The use of individual metered taxis dispatched from established taxi companies, hotel taxis, and tour buses is recommended. U.S. Mission employees are not allowed to use minibus taxis or hail taxis on the street or use a taxi stand.  Minibus taxi drivers are often unlicensed and drive erratically.

Transportation Network Companies: Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), such as Uber, also operate in South Africa. U.S. Mission employees may only use TNCs with a dispatch application that provides vehicle description, license plate number, and the driver?s name, picture, user rating, and the ability to share trip information. The user should verify the information provided by the company, such as the vehicle make/model, license plate number, and driver?s name/picture, prior to entering the vehicle. TNCs should not be used to travel outside major metropolitan areas or previously disadvantaged areas. Pick up and drop off should not be done near a traditional taxi stand.

Rail Service: The long-distance rail service, Shosholoza Meyl; the rapid rail Gautrain in Gauteng Province; and luxury rail services, such as Shosholoza Meyl Premier Classe, Blue Train, and Rovos Rail are generally safe and reliable, though mechanical problems and criminal incidents do sometimes occur. U.S. Mission employees are not allowed to use the Metrorail commuter rail service because of safety and crime concerns. There have been recent reports of fires being set on Metrorail train cars.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of South Africa?s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization aviation safety standards for oversight of South Africa?s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA?s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to South Africa should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts on the Maritime Administration website. Information may also be posted to the websites of the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Geospace Intelligence Agency (select ?broadcast warnings?).

Durban, South Africa
Durban, South Africa
Durban, South Africa
Durban, South Africa

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