19 March 2019

South Africa: Ed Sheeran Concert - Soccer World Cup Security Plan for FNB Stadium

Ed Sheeran concertgoers can rest assured that there will be tight security at the event at FNB stadium in Nasrec on Saturday - similar to the security arranged for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

At least 1 156 security officers are expected within the stadium perimeter and a further 100 outside, according to the event's safety officer, Mike Lord of Alliance Safety Management.

"We are reinventing the world cup security plan and remain confident that it will work," Lord said.

Safety and security at the stadium came under the spotlight in December 2018, during the Global Citizen's concert. Several muggings and attacks were reported after that event.

The following day, scores of concertgoers took to social media to express their dissatisfaction at the lack of security.

Some said gangs of juveniles attacked and stabbed them before robbing them of their cellphones and handbags.

"A lot of lessons were learnt during the Global Citizen['s concert] and we have now agreed with the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) on a new plan and have already put it into practice during other events, such as the Soweto Derby," said Bertie Grobberlaar, managing director of Stadium Management South Africa.

Grobberlaar urged concertgoers to make use of public transport.

"We will have a park and ride service provider and make use of the Metrobus and the Gautrain to try to reduce congestion," Grobberlaar said.

E-hailing taxi services are also expected to work under the security plan.

Uber's Alon Lits said drivers would be taking trips under an accepted operational plan to ensure passenger safety.

CEO of Big Concerts Justin Van Wyk, says there will also be designated parking spots available at the stadium but they can only be used by those who buy parking tickets.

"People should avoid parking where 'illegal' car guards would be directing them, as that may lead to vulnerability and allow theft," said Van Wyk.

The JMPD says it will deploy no less than 120 officers to take care of traffic and to prevent crime.

"There will be a tactical response team deployed as well, carrying R1 riffles, as we will be ensuring concertgoers their safety," JMPD spokesperson Wayne Minnaar said.

The SAPS is to deploy its Flying Squad and the K9 Unit to the area.

"We are still finalising how many officers will be deployed to the area," Captain Laraine Van Emmerik said.

He added that more detectives would also be deployed.

Load shedding

The City of Joburg has expressed confidence in the security plan, but was concerned that load shedding could have an impact.

The City's head of communications Nthatisi Modingoane said the municipality was "in talks with City Power to try ensure that the supply of power was continuous over the course of the weekend".

Organisers expect the stadium to be filled to capacity for the concert. They have assured that they were ready to host the event at the continent's biggest stadium.

Source: News24

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