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Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Pretoria (South Africa), April 7 Demonstrations

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The U.S. Diplomatic Mission to South Africa notifies U.S. citizens that demonstrations are expected to take place across South Africa on April 7.  
While the demonstrations will primarily take place in and around central business districts, civil disruptions, including demonstrations and protests, may occur anywhere with little or no advance warning throughout South Africa.  Areas around the demonstration locations are likely to be congested and there may be severe traffic disruptions.

U.S. citizens are reminded that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.  Avoid large gatherings and demonstrations; maintain situational awareness and exercise good judgment; stay alert; be aware of your surroundings at all times; and stay abreast of ongoing events through local media outlets.

The U.S. Consulate General in Durban will be closed to the public on April 7.  This closure is a result of multiple anticipated demonstrations in the Central Business District which are expected to cause traffic blockages and may escalate.  The U.S. Embassy in Pretoria as well as the U.S. Consulates in Cape Town and Johannesburg will be open as normal. 

The following is a list of known, pre-planned demonstrations in cities with a U.S. diplomatic presence.  This list is not comprehensive of all possible protests on April 7, and secondary or tertiary demonstrations could erupt in other locations, both inside and outside of major metropolitan areas.

Cape Town:  Several demonstrations and marches are planned in and around South Africa’s Parliament (an area roughly bordered by the M3, Buitenkant, Strand, and Buitengracht streets) beginning at 12:00 p.m.  Additionally, activists are mobilizing for a range of other demonstrations in the greater Cape Town area.

Durban:  A demonstration is planned to begin at the Circus Site on Sandile Thusi Road (formerly Argyle Road) to Snell Parade and the Amphitheater on the beach.  The demonstration is planned to start at 8:00 a.m. and to disperse at 12:00 p.m. 

A demonstration is planned along the route starting at King Dinuzulu Park at 7:00 a.m. and go through the city to the ABSA Bank at the corner of Dorothy Nyembe (formerly Gardiner) and Anton Lembede (formerly Smith) Streets.

Johannesburg:  A demonstration is planned to take place in the Central Business District (CBD) of Johannesburg from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.  The planned route will start at the bus stop on Miriam Makeba Street between Marshall and Anderson Street, will move west on Anderson Street; right onto Alexandra Street; left onto Marshall Street; right onto Henry Nxumalo (runs underneath the M1);  right onto Barney Simon Road; left towards Jeppe Street; ending in Mary Fitzgerald Square.  The march will continue back to the Miriam Makeba Street bus stop via the same route.

Another demonstration is planned to take place at Luthuli House at 54 Sauer Street in the CBD. 

There are some reports of demonstrations planned to take place in Sandton.  Social media reports a proposed gathering point at the George Lea Park at the intersection of Sandton Drive and William Nicol Drive, with protestors moving into the Saxonwold, Rosebank, and Sandton neighborhoods.  Social media reports also indicate that the Taxi (Mini-bus) Association may demonstrate in the Sandton CBD.

Pretoria:  Various groups are calling for mass demonstrations in Pretoria, Central Business District (CBD).  Organizers are planning to gather in the Central Business District (CBD), marching from the Marabastad (old PUTCO) Depot to the Union Buildings.  Details of these demonstrations are still vague, but if these demonstrations occur, they may continue throughout the day.  We advise U.S. citizens to avoid the CBD and the Union Buildings.

For further information:

  • See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for South Africa.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. 
  • The U.S. Embassy in Pretoria and U.S. Consulate Generals 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.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
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