UPDATE: An official for the British embassy in South Africa said their government had revised their travel alert to South Africa following the US warning at the weekend.

Clarifying earlier reports that the UK had issued a new alert, the embassy’s Isabel Potgieter told News24 that their government issued an alert on May 20 but had revised it at the weekend following the US alert.

Potgieter said the UK government was not advising its citizens against travel to South Africa.

The US issued a warning on Saturday after it had "received information that terrorist groups are planning to carry out near-term attacks against places where US citizens congregate in South Africa, such as upscale shopping areas and malls in Johannesburg and Cape Town". said in a statement posted on its website.

The UK government’s May 20 statement said: “There is a high threat from terrorism. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners such as shopping areas in Johannesburg and Cape Town.”

There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attacks globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria, Britain’s foreign office said.

State Security Minister David Mahlobo earlier on Monday downplayed the US government’s terror alert, giving assurances that his department was doing all it could to keep South Africa safe against attacks.