Ensuring safe travel to South Africa

Ballot box and South Africa flag

Healix International, which provides healthcare and risk management solutions, has warned that the upcoming South African general election may increase risk for travellers heading to the country, and offered advice for safe corporate travel.

The South African general election will take place on Wednesday 8 May to elect a new National Assembly and legislatures in each province. It is likely, therefore, that there will be a rise in social unrest as protest groups take to the streets.

As Eilidh Thomson, Associate Security Consultant – Africa, Healix International, explained, avoiding possible flashpoints for protests is not always possible. “It’s important, therefore, that firms sending employees to the country, whether for short visits or longer-term secondments, provide advice and assistance before the trip as well as making support available for the duration of their visit,” she said.

Measures that can be implemented by employers to protect their employees centre on cultivating an understanding of the operating environment their staff are entering into and ensuring a robust travel risk plan is in place. For the employees themselves, they should ensure national immunisation schedules are up to date, drink bottled or boiled water and eat well-cooked foods, and ensure they have appropriate travel health insurance with up-to-date declarations.