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Security and Africa’sFirst World Cup
Security is always a concern for organizersof the World Cup, and this year’s upcomingtournament in South Africa — the firstWorld Cup on the continent — is noexception. Envisioning a range of threatsfrom terrorism to petty crime, tournamentorganizers are trying to beef up security innine cities that will serve as venues for thegames. Less than a month before the tournament begins, STRATFOR thought it time to look at howreal those threats are and how security preparations are shaping up.In June and July, South Africa will host the first World Cup tournament ever held in Africa. The firstgame of the tournament will be June 11 in Johannesburg, where the finals are scheduled to be heldJuly 11. The World Cup draws hordes of spectators, sponsors and dignitaries, including this year,perhaps, U.S. President Barack Obama, who has expressed an interest in attending should the U.S.team proceed to the finals.Security is always a concern for World Cup organizers, and this year’s tournament — the largestsporting event ever hosted on African soil — raises concerns about South Africa’s ability to provide asecure environment for the month-long event. While terrorism is high on the list of organizers’ concerns, the security issue that will affect the most people will likely be violent crime, which hasgrown endemic in South Africa over the past two decades.The South Africa World Cup Organizing Committee has designated nine cities to host the soccermatches: Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Bloemfontein (Mangaung in the local language), Pretoria(Tshwane), Rustenburg, Port Elizabeth, Polokwane and Nelspruit. Semi-final matches will be played inCape Town and Durban, the third place match will be played in Port Elizabeth and the finals will beplayed in Johannesburg.In the run-up to the event, STRATFOR thought it appropriate to take a look at the securityenvironment in South Africa, evaluate specific threats and offer guidance on how to avoid dangerduring the tournament.
Unlike terrorism, which tends to be driven by ideology, criminal activity is driven by opportunity andthe desire for quick cash,and both of those factors will be in abundance during the World Cup. Tomitigate against any conceivable security threat, an estimated 44,000 members of the South AfricanPolice Service (SAPS), the South African National Defense Force (SANDF) and private securitypersonnel will be deployed at tournament venues, hotels where the teams will be staying andanywhere considered a possible launching point for criminal or terrorist acts (more on thesedeployments below in the section titled “Security Preparations”). Many national teams will also havetheir own security details. The U.S. team, for example, will be guarded by personnel from the StateDepartment’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS).