Actually, South Africa has been ranked as one of the top tourist destinations by travel experts in the last 5 years, so it isn't doing too badly. The main reason it is overlooked as a travel destination by North Americans is because it has a very high crime rate. In fact, it has one of the highest crime rates in the world. About 50 murders occur in the country each day. Read on from www.larktours.com/truth-about-crime-south-africa.
What these folks said about crime, while true, is not wholly accurate. A lot of countries view America as the Wild West of murders..I actually think many people want to visit, but are constrained by the astronomical costs.