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Wearing a shoulder bag in the CBD

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Moscow, Russia
posts: 483
Wearing a shoulder bag in the CBD

Hi,

Would it be ok to wear a small shoulder bag with me or will I stand out too much. I want to try and fit in as much as I can.

On that matter, what is the most common thing a local man will wear in summer in downtown joburg?

Thank You

15 replies to this topic
1. Re: Wearing a shoulder bag in the CBD

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South Africa
posts: 1,070
reviews: 61
2. Re: Wearing a shoulder bag in the CBD

No problem at all a schoulder bag. You can wear anything you like. Short trousers t shirt. Long trousers, shirt.

Anything

Johannesburg, South...
Destination Expert
for Johannesburg
posts: 1,837
reviews: 23
3. Re: Wearing a shoulder bag in the CBD

Just do not wear socks if you choose to wear sandals. That will immediately mark you as a foreigner.

If you must wear socks, wear shoes. If you must wear sandals, do not wear socks !

Randburg, Gauteng...
posts: 828
reviews: 32
4. Re: Wearing a shoulder bag in the CBD

Well said, Gavin, had a good laugh. a shoulder bag is fine, lots of people wear them. You are welcome to wear sneakers, sandals, whatever, you will fit in. We have a large diversity of culture, and therefore as long as you dont wear your traditional costume (whatever that may be) you will not stand out. normal shirts, t shirts, shorts, pants, same as in Europe.

Lyn - Owner - Thorntree Tours and Safaris

Johannesburg, South...
Destination Expert
for Johannesburg
posts: 933
reviews: 57
5. Re: Wearing a shoulder bag in the CBD

I'm not sure how many of the respondents actually work in the Joburg CBD as I do. I don't want to be negative and there are small pockets of 'excellence', but i would not venture into the CBD on foot. No matter what you are wearing, you will stand out. There... I've said it. Take what you will from it - sorry....

Moscow, Russia
posts: 483
6. Re: Wearing a shoulder bag in the CBD

So as a white man you think i will definately stand out as a target? I'm 6f 5" so can't really hide either. I don't mean to sound racially prejudiced here but from what I've seen on google maps street view there seemed to be only predominately black people and very few whites. Correct me if I'm wrong. I'm thinkng of doing most of my CDB sightseeing on a tour. I have a 'white' south african friend at home who said he wouldn't walk down comissioner street so I'm not sure who to believe. There is people telling me I will be fine and others saying it's not worth the risk. I feel if I missed the city centre i would be missing a huge part of the city. I don't just want to see the predomnatley safe and wealthy northern suburbs. I'm thinking of having nothing on my person, literally just myself so If I do become a target it could only be for racial reasons I suppose.

Johannesburg, South...
posts: 769
reviews: 27
7. Re: Wearing a shoulder bag in the CBD

Just to clear up one thing: the chances of a racially-motivated attack are round about zero. I don't think anyone used the word "target" - the debate is more about the level of crime (muggings etc) in the CBD.

Johannesburg, South...
Destination Expert
for Johannesburg
posts: 933
reviews: 57
8. Re: Wearing a shoulder bag in the CBD

Also not being racially prejudiced the simple answer is yes. What you see on google street view is the way it is. There is a criminal element in the city centre and I work in the 'better part' of town by FNB by Bank City but there are still many reports of women and men being mugged especially from their cars so if you are on foot then who knows? I saw recently just outside the boundaries of town on the Queen Elizabeth bridge two men with their heads and half of their bodies inside the driver side of a woman's car. She must have had her window opened and they were trying to get her handbag or cell phone. That's what I would call opportunistic. There are many good people walking the streets of Joburg obviously but it's a sad fact that there are also criminals. There are other areas where you could get the 'feel' for Joburg not necessarily in the northern suburbs, perhaps Melville, Parkhurst? If you are on a tour then I would say no problem though.

Johannesburg, South...
Destination Expert
for Johannesburg
posts: 1,837
reviews: 23
9. Re: Wearing a shoulder bag in the CBD

For what its worth, I am often in the CBD.

I take tourists to the Carlton Centre.

We go to the Market (Arts) on main, and walk around the precinct.

We go to Newtown, and walk around.

Some of my colleagues do walking tours in the CBD.

When I have to be in the CBD to renew my permit for my vehicle ( tourism permit) at Batho Pele House, or when i need to go to the Gauteng Tourism offices, I park my car in the underground parking at the Carlton centre, and walk.

I have done this for the last 10 years, and never had any problems.

BTW, I am Caucasian, and now 67 years of age.

I have never felt threatened in the CBD.

Moscow, Russia
posts: 483
10. Re: Wearing a shoulder bag in the CBD

Thanks for the replies. I'm just going to risk it anyway. Most people fear things in life that actually never happen. I feel sorry for the people on here who have to constantly try an reassure people that the city is ok but then again I suppose crime is still a problem and many times it can be violent which makes people more nervous.

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