With just over two years to go before the 2010 FIFA World Cup kicks off, the South African Police Service (SAPS) is on track with its planning to deliver safety and security over the event, and has been given a R1-billion budget to provide this.
According to Deputy Police Commissioner Andre Pruis, security forces are 100 percent in line with expectations to provide FIFA with a security concept plan for the World Cup by 30 June this year, and a written detailed security plan by June 2009. “Ninety percent of the planning is completed, and we are working on the broad framework and tactical details,” he said.
The plan for 2010 safety provides for security (issues like a terrorist threat), law enforcement, event-specific plans, local, regional and national plans, stadium plans, VIP and VVIP protection, to name a few. “The plan ranges from the international community to the soccer pitch,” he said.
The intelligence community is also working on an intelligence plan for 2010, to look at issues such as hooliganism, terrorism, transport and labour issues, and give a threat analysis. Pruis said police have asked for a list of undesirable persons, and are seeking bilateral agreements to prevent these people from being allowed to leave their countries, which has been done in previous World Cups.
Border security is another issue, with fixed points of entry the airport, harbour and land borders being used by visitors. Police will obtain satellite images of the country’s borderline to see if there are any illegal crossings. Patrols will be done along the sea ports and harbours.
Contingency plans and non-terrorism threats such as fire and flooding are also taken into account in the security plan.
Transport security forms a major sector of the security plan, and Pruis said 66 new BMWs have been bought for road patrols on major transport hubs. Helicopters will also be deployed.
Each city will be divided into sectors, with different teams to deal with policing and patrolling areas such as streets, restaurants and pubs. The teams will also interact with local and private security services to ensure a “blanket of security”, Pruis said.
In order to ensure the safety of the stadium, the precinct will be divided into concentric rings, with different security and FIFA zones. The Local Organising Committee will be primarily responsible for security within the stadium, but the SAPS will be available to deal with illegal activity and crowd control. Most police will be deployed outside the stadium precinct, with over 700 on patrol to deal with potential hooliganism and crowd control.
The SAPS have a budget of R1-billion for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This has been divided up between procurement and deployment.
Items to be bought include water cannons, command vehicles, aircraft with cameras (which will be deployed on the border afterwards) and body armour.
The deployment aspect of the budget deals with having 41 000 members on duty for the duration of the World Cup, and having a command and control system up and running.
Joint operational exercises, such as Operation Green Point which took place in Cape Town during March, will also be carried out ahead of 2010. A small exercise took place in Polokwane in 2007, and more are planned for Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein in July, and Nelspruit in November. A major joint operation is being planned for Gauteng at some point in 2009. These exercises allow members of the security and defence forces to come together to enact their emergency contingency plans and hone their skills ahead of 2010.
“We can do it – I’ve been to Germany and other places with major events to look at how they did it and their track record. From where we are in terms of our planning, we will have a very successful 2010 World Cup,” Pruis said.