Security cordon for 2010

Thobeka Magcai

Thobeka Magcai

The SA Police Service and the SA Air Force have been involved in drills since Monday to ensure that the skies are safe during the Confederations Cup and the 2010 World Cup.

The aerial activities have been taking placeat areas in Johannesburg, Rustenburg and Pretoria around the stadiums and some airfields. The exercises end today.

Aimed at intercepting illegally flying aircraft, the drills are known as "Exercise Shield 3".

SAPS 2010 senior operational planner David Garnett said the security forces are ready to deal with crowd control and management, the influx and identification of visitors into South Africa, hooliganism, terrorists, plane hijackers and validation of game tickets.

"Our techniques are among the most advanced in the world and we are in a position to deal with any contingency," said Garnett.

Between 35000 and 40000 joint forces will secure the tournaments.

"Therefore, anyone wishing to visit South Africa should do so and enjoy themselves," said Garnet.

All units - the dog unit, bomb disposal experts, hostage negotiators, national air wing, national intervention, borderline and ports of entry as well as special forces - will be utilised to intercept any airborne threats.

"We are positive of our ability through the deployment of our resources and the experiences of our members to deal with any incidences that might occur," said Garnett.

National joint operation spokesperson Sally de Beer said anyone wishing to fly in the restricted airspace would have to apply for a flight authorisation at least 24 hours in advance.

"The Civil Aviation Authority has issued a notice to all airmen, which restricts but does not ban flights in certain airspaces in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Rustenburg between March 16 and 19," said De Beer. - Sowetan Online

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