Over 2 000 police officers will be deployed in and around the Loftus Versfeld Stadium vicinity for the Presidential Inauguration on Saturday, Police Minister Bheki Cele said.
The Minister revealed this during a media briefing on the security state of readiness, shortly after addressing a police parade to be deployed to the event.
“This event happens every five years and it attracts the world. The world is upon us and this time, there is more interest. Besides the invited countries – Heads of State, Heads of Government and Ministers - almost 40 of them - there are more and more that are requesting to come but the Presidency (protocol) will deal with that,” he said.
Cele said police have been urged to “cool off” on the day as the ceremony is that of celebration.
The stadium is expected to be packed to capacity with more than 200 buses ferrying people from Limpopo, Free State, North West, Mpumalanga and Gauteng.
The Minister said the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NatJOINTS) has put together a comprehensive plan to ensure the smooth running of the inauguration.
Law enforcement officers deployed to the event include members of the South African Police Service, Tshwane Metro Police and members from other government departments to ensure effective and efficient route and stadium security.
“About 32 000 people are expected here: 22 000 from the provinces and 10 000 walk-ins. That spirit that must be enjoyed by those people must be shared with the police. That’s the call we are making to everyone. Remember police officers are human beings too, treat them as such. It is a big day for the country -- allow them to enjoy it,” he said.
The Police Ministry said the success of the event is dependent on the full cooperation of all those in attendance.
With gates opening at 3am, the public has been urged to arrive early to ensure the smooth flow of people and traffic.
A list of prohibited items has been published on the GCIS website, the Ministry said in a statement.
“Those who do not adhere to the restrictions set will have to surrender their items before entering the stadium. No persons under the influence of any substance will be allowed into the stadium for their own safety as well as the safety of others,” the statement read.
The NatJOINTS has also ensured that general safety and day-to-day policing is not compromised for all law-abiding South Africans for the duration of the event.
The airspace from the Pretoria City Centre will be restricted for a radius of 25 nautical miles from 8am to 4pm on the day of the Inauguration.
No Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS)/Drones will be permitted to operate within the airspace for the duration of the event.
This restriction will not affect commercial air traffic.
Order of proceedings
After the rendition of the National Anthem, the President will continue with his address to the Nation. The President’s address will be followed by a flypast by the South African Air Force and SAA as well as a 21-gun salute. This salute will be conducted from Pretoria High School for Girls.
Pet owners of Sunnyside and the surrounding areas are advised to consider the following precautions during the 21-gun salute:
The ideal place for an anxious dog is to be indoors in a familiar place with the owner.
Make sure that pets have access to their most favourite spot. Create ambient noises and provide them with a treat.
Accreditation and park-and-ride
There will be a park-and-ride system for general access to the stadium from the Tshwane Events Centre. The shuttles will operate from 3am to 6:30pm.
“All the walk-ins for general access to the stadium must still be accredited through the accreditation service point at Afrikaans Hoër Seunskool, popularly known as Affies. This accreditation point will open from 3am and will close at 7am on Saturday and no one will be allowed into the venue without accreditation. We encourage people to arrive at the park-and-ride early to avoid disappointment,” said the Ministry.
Members of the public attending the occasion are advised that the following items are forbidden at the event:
- Alcohol or drugs
- Firearms or weapons
- Bottles or cans.