Over 800 metro police to be deployed for inauguration

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Pretoria - Over 800 metro police officers will be deployed to oversee the smooth running of the inauguration of the country's fourth democratically elected president on Saturday.

"The number of Metro Police officers who will be on duty is 865," said the Tshwane Community Safety Department spokesperson Console Tleane.

The city said it had finalised all plans pertaining to Saturday's inauguration at the Union Buildings.

The plans include three of the four mandates under the department including the Metro Police Services, Fire brigade services and Disaster Management Services.

"The department is confident that it will ensure, working with other state security agencies, that the inauguration is conducted in a safe and secure environment," said Mr Tleane.

He further added that the officers will be complemented by 360 Peace Development Project (PDP) officers. PDPs are young people who have basic training in road traffic control and crime prevention by identifying possible threats and alerting the Metro Police.

Additional to these, 18 firefighters and nine vehicles will be on duty while other fire fighters will be stationed at fire stations to respond to incidents.

"There will also be 18 disaster management personnel who will take control of command in the event of a disaster," said Mr Tleane, adding that in the event of a disaster, four areas have been identified for evacuation.

The department has reminded residents of road closures that will start at around 1am on Saturday. However, Government Avenue is already being closed. Motorists who use this route are advised to use Church Street as an alternative.

Most individuals will be able to make use of park-and-ride facilities around the city. This will ensure that the roads leading to the Union Buildings are kept clear and are not blocked by parked cars and buses.

Soutpansberg Road will be closed between Gordon and Hamilton streets; Government Avenue will be completely closed; Church Street will be closed between Orient and Athlone streets and Hamilton Street will be closed between Soutpansberg Road and Edmond Street.

The following intersections with Government Avenue will be closed: Blackwood, Pine, Beckett, East, Herbert, Percy, Eastwood, Balmoral, Dumbarton and Nassau.

The following intersections with Church Street will be closed: Athlone, Orient, Blackwood, Pine, Beckett, East, Lisdogan, Balmoral, and Dumbarton.

The following intersections with Soutpansberg Road will be closed: Beatrix, Hamilton, Union, Viljoen, August, Well, Blake, Peter, Bouwer, Parker, Bruin, Merle, Hadley Betty, Van der Merwe and Gordon streets, and Tom Jenkins Drive.

The Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality on Tuesday held a dry run ahead of the inauguration to give officials an indication of what needs to be done to ensure traffic flows are managed effectively on the day.

Residents can visit the city's website at www.tshwane.gov.za for more information on the road closures.

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