Investment in World Cup security reaps rewards

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Pretoria - The World Cup may be a thing of the past but the millions of rands spent on policing during the tournament will benefit the country's fight against crime well into the future.

This is according to Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa who was responding to questions in Parliament on the police's budget spent during the World Cup.

"The number of police personnel added to the Force as well as the equipment acquired for their use, is one of the important legacies of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. That is why the emphasis is now towards sustaining these best practices and continuing to deal a deadly blow to crime," the minister said.

All the resources acquired for the World Cup was still available to police and had boosted their arsenal in the fight against crime, he added.

The minister explained that money was invested in both equipment and human capital and according to Mthethwa the money was spent "sensibly".

He said a budget of R1.3-billion had been set aside for the security plan for the tournament.

"To date, an amount of approximately R572-million (R571 332 153.50 to be specific) has been spent on procuring such equipment.. These included crowd-control equipment, crime scene trainers, helicopters, water cannons, 100 BMWs for highway patrol and up-to-date body armour," he added.

A fleet of 40 helicopters, as well as state-of-the- art information and communications military technology were also used during the tournament, the minister said.

More than 44 000 officers were also deployed at all match venues, hotels, stadia and key strategic spots.

Some of the first equipment and services acquired included water cannons, sirens, blue lights and headlight flashing units for vehicles, refurbishment of Nyalas, forensic science laboratory and bomb squad items, cartridge and ammunition.

About 300 mobile cameras were also used at various operations, and this included high-tech monitoring equipment.

The remainder of the budget is being spent mainly on deployment costs but also on goods, services, accommodation, food and overtime, Mthethwa said.