How to prevent GPS sending you

Checking the direction. Close up of young man using smart phone to check the map while driving a car

How to prevent GPS sending you into DANGER spots

Following another tourist attack, the Western Cape is grappling with how to prevent GPS sending you into danger zones in the city.

How to prevent GPS sending you

Checking the direction. Close up of young man using smart phone to check the map while driving a car

Following the unfortunate case of a foreign tourist being shot in the face in Nyanga township, authorities are dealing with how to prevent GPS sending you into danger zones.

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Speaking to Cape Talk, the City of Cape Town Mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis, said the city has been grappling with the issue of GPD sending people into danger areas of the city. To deal with this unique threat for tourists, Hill-Lewis met with Google, to set up measures to prevent such instances happening again.


City of Cape Town
The City of Cape Town wants to prevent GPS sending you into danger. Picture: COCT.

It is an unfortunate aftereffect of apartheid, the massive inequalities between the haves and have-nots in South Africa. Many tourists do not expect a trusted GPS like Google Maps to send them into a danger area. Hill-Lewis said on Cape Talk they the city is dealing with these terrible and tragic cases that have a disproportionate effect on our global image.

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However, he adds that this is not the norm in Cape Town. And, where possible, tourism establishments should advise travellers on how to be cautious in and around Cape Town. He hopes that tourists will not be dissuaded from visiting Cape Town as there are many have wonderful things to see and do in the city.


GPS sending you into danger
Cape Town’s cam-enabled vehicles. Image: @Geordin Hill-Lewis/ X.

On a practical level, the city is beefing up safety and security operations for the upcoming December holidays, reports Business Tech. The city has said it will deploy its largest Tourism Unit in the most popular areas of the city. More specifically this will be in around Table Mountain National Park and the CBD. The forces are made up of South African Police Services (SAPS), SANParks, CIDs, and neighbourhood-watch partners.

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“Safety is a top priority for the city, with over 4 000 uniformed enforcement and emergency personnel available in shifts as part of the city’s largest-ever safety deployment over a festive season,”’ said Mayor Hill-Lewis.

Lion's head tourist attraction
Lion’s Head seen from Camps Bay Beach, Cape Town. Photo: canva

“Aside from general crime prevention activities, the city is making a special deployment of 80 personnel for dedicated safety, patrolling tourism routes at Signal Hill, Lion’s Head, Devil’s Peak, Table Mountain trails, the Bo-Kaap, Waterfront, and CBD,” Hill-Lewis said.

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The City of Cape Town also plans to fully use technology in its fight against criminals. This includes using drones, dashcams, automatic number plate recognition, and CCTV. There are approximately 3 000 public, private cameras and drones in use for surveillance around the city’s popular beaches and Table Mountain.

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So, while the city cannot stop GPS sending you into danger, it is still doing everything else it can to make sure visible policing is good as it can be over the December holidays. The two most popular GPS apps are Waze and Google Maps. The former generally only cares about speed and will send you through the sketchiest areas to save you a minute or two on your trips.


GPS sending you into danger
How to stop GPS sending you into danger. Picture: File.

Google Maps will generally take you the most conventional route on major thoroughfares, even if it doesn’t save you as much time. You can also try RedZone Map which was created to specifically alert you to rough areas in foreign cities you may be unfamiliar with.

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Have you ever experienced GPS sending you into danger places? If so, what happened and how do you prevent it? Be sure to share your thoughts with our audience in the comments section below. And don’t forget to follow us @TheSANews on X and The South African on Facebook for the latest updates.