18 August 2009
The South African government has reiterated its commitment to ensuring the safety of all visitors and football fans during the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
Speaking at the 2010 National Communication Partnership conference in Johannesburg on Monday, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said the government would pull out all the stops to uphold South Africa’s event security reputation during the 30-day tournament.
“The safety of our people and our visitors is non-negotiable,” Ndebele said. “For the past five years the issue of security was perhaps the most consistently voiced issue by the international community. While some of it could be attributed to a fear of the unknown, such concerns must be attended to.”
He said South Africa’s law enforcement agencies were constantly improving on their capacity to secure major international events.
“Our law enforcement agencies have proven their might to create secure environments during the Confederations Cup and past major events hosted by our country. They will continue to improve on their capacity to deal with incidents of crime, and will be ready to neutralise any potential threat.”
National police spokesperson Vish Naidoo told the conference that South Africa’s event security record spoke for itself.
“We have our systems in place, and we take the safety of our visitors and locals very seriously,” Naidoo said.
Ndebele said the World Cup offered South Africa numerous opportunities, one of which was to forge national cohesion.
“The World Cup offers an opportunity for the igniting of passion and national pride amongst South Africans. It calls for the unity of our people regardless of colour or creed because, indeed, working together we can do more,” Ndebele said.
“The event also provides us with a chance … to kick-start our way out of the current economic recession.”