Gone are the days of popping around to the corner café, or having your kids ride outside on the road.
It is just too unsafe.
Others seem to feel the same. According to the Cape Times, more South Africans are afraid of walking alone in their residential neighbourhoods today than a decade ago.
A new study by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) on South Africans' fear of crime reveals that while the general perceptions of personal safety were improving, South Africans still felt fearful in their communities – particularly for those living in informal settlements.
In some cases men are more afraid than women, and the youth than the elderly.
Research specialist in the HSRC's Child, Youth, Family and Social Development research programme, Benjamin Roberts, said that HSRC attitudinal surveys since the early 1990s reveal that general perceptions of personal safety have been showing signs of improvement since the late 1990s.
The percentage feeling personally unsafe has dropped from a high of 49 percent in both 1991 and 1998 to 30 percent late last year.
"However, the same cannot be said for neighbourhood or community safety.”
"The 2005, 2006 and 2007 rounds of the South African Social Attitudes Survey found that people are substantially more fearful of walking alone in their residential areas after dark compared with 1998 (74 percent last year against 44 percent in 1998)," the study says.
What was also interesting was that Indians and blacks were more fearful than coloureds and whites.
This of course dispels governments utterances that the seriousness of the crime crisis in SA is only a ‘white’ perception.
"The popular notion that fear of crime in the country is predominantly a 'white fear' is lamentable in that it is misleading and neglects the needs of a majority who are less able to adequately voice their concerns," the report states.