More than 30 000 police officers to ensure a safe 2010 World Cup

More than 30 000 police officers will be deployed to tighten security around the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa...

Police will also be patrolling roads between airports and hotels as well as roads between stadiums and hotels to ensure that visitors are protected.

Currently, South Africa has 156 000
police officers. But, government is planning to increase this number to more than 190 000 in the next three years, of which 30 000 will be deployed for the FIFA World Cup in 2010.

Deputy national police commissioner Andre Pruis said on Wednesday that the 30 000 officers would be deployed across different police sectors including intelligence, VIP protection, border and route security. "More than 30 000 [of the total number of police officers in 2010] will concentrate on providing security to the actual events, officials and supporters during the competition. There will be a dedicated team of officers in each sector," he said.

Commissioner Pruis said the officers would
be deployed in various areas including accommodation facilities, stadiums, airports, roads and border posts, among others. "Police will also be patrolling roads between airports and hotels as well as roads between stadiums and hotels to ensure that visitors are protected at all times," he said.

The police would also procure a fleet of 40 helicopters and command vehicles which boast state-of-the-art technology that will link with the SAPS head office. In October, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel said in his Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) that the government would increase the number of police officers to 193 000 by 2010.

Minister Manuel also announced in the MTBPS that government would allocate R15 billion for the 2010 World Cup. Briefing the media about government's programme in preparation for the world cup, Deputy Finance Minister Jabu Moleketi expressed confidence that South Africa would meet the FIFA deadlines.

"In this regard we have set aside about
R8.4 billion to build and upgrade stadiums and close to R6 billion would be utilised to improve public transport infrastructure and communication systems," said Mr Moleketi. Mr Moleketi added that the main contractors in the development of the five major stadiums would be identified by the end of this year after tender processes had been completed.

The closing dates for most tenders
were this month, he added. "The process was underpinned by principles of transparency, fairness, value for money and Black Economic Empowerment," he said.

Mr Moleketi said there would be discussions between host cities and contractors before February regarding the costing of different products and services. "The key thing is the issue of building stadiums and having the main contractor moving on site around February next year and this will give us enough time to basically ensure that the infrastructure is in place," he said.

The government, he said, would like to leave a lasting legacy of efficient transport and communication systems after the world cup. Mr Moleketi reassured the public that five stadiums would be ready by 2009 for the Confederation Cup.

The stadiums are Ellis Park, Royal Bafokeng, Free State, Loftus and another in the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality.

Source: BuaNews

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