Security in place for AIDS 2016 conference

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Pretoria - With just four days to go before the start of 2016 International AIDS Conference, the country’s law enforcement agencies are confident about their comprehensive security plan in place to safeguard the conference.

The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NatJOINTS) - comprising various government departments - has put in place plans which include high visibility of security forces, as well as air support for rapid response in the unlikely event that such a demand may arise.

The plan, Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said on Thursday, is designed to be executed in three phases: pre-conference phase, conference phase and post-conference phase to cater for the arrival of delegates as well as their departure after the conference.

“This essential security approach is to establish uncompromising security measures, limiting the impact of any incidents occurring through contingency planning and limiting the probability of incidents occurring before, during and after the event,” Naidoo said.

Naidoo, who is the national police spokesperson, said the plan will primarily focus on border, route, city and venue security as well as crowd management. 

There will also be a designated speaker’s corner to cater for protestors. 

About AIDS 2016

The National Department of Health will host the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre Complex in Durban from 18 to 22 July 2016.

The conference, which will have more than 500 sessions, workshops and programme activities, is expected to attract approximately 18 000 delegates, including VVIPs and some 1 000 journalists, who represent 180 countries. 

Among the many planned parallel events to support the AIDS 2016 Conference are the Pre-TB Conference Fun Walk, South African Grandmothers’ Gathering and Keep the Promise Awareness March.

NatJOINTS advised that only accredited people and vehicles will be allowed within restricted areas, while traffic disruptions can be expected around the conference venues.

“Motorists are advised that all four streets enclosing the conference venue will either be closed or the flow of traffic restricted for the duration of the conference,” said Naidoo.

South Africa is renowned for its ability to successfully host major international events such as the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit, COP17 Conference and the BRICS Summit, to mention a few.

Naidoo said the security forces have drawn a lot of valuable experience from hosting these events and that experience will be used to sharpen their ability to secure the AIDS Conference.

“Despite this experience and proven track record, we will not relax our guard. We continuously strive to improve and raise the bar further on our record of hosting such events,” Naidoo said. - SAnews.gov.za

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