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Google Maps, Waze adjust routes to bypass Cape Town’s Nyanga township amid safety concerns

In response to rising security concerns, Google’s navigation apps, Waze and Google Maps, will no longer guide road users through Cape Town’s Nyanga township and its surrounding areas. Alistair Mokoena, the company’s South Africa head, made this announcement on Monday.

The decision comes after an American tourist was robbed and shot in the face in Nyanga last week when a navigation app directed him to drive through the township, considering it the most direct route from Cape Town International Airport to the city.

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This incident follows the tragic death of 40-year-old British surgeon Kar Hao Teoh, who was shot during a protest by taxi operators in the same township in September.

Reports from local media indicate that several other individuals, primarily tourists, have been attacked or killed while driving through the township, with some following navigation app recommendations.

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After Mr Teoh’s killing, the British government warned citizens visiting South Africa to “be careful when following GPS navigation” and “avoid taking alternative routes away from main roads as this can often take you into less secure areas”.

It added that “most violent crimes occur in townships on the outskirts of major cities or in isolated areas”.

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