Adriaan Roets
2 minute read
20 Mar 2019
6:20 am

Zero tolerance for criminality at FNB Stadium this weekend for Ed Sheeran

Adriaan Roets

About 140 000 revellers are expected to attend Ed Shheran's two shows at the stadium and anyone who does not follow the rules could be arrested.

Ed Sheeran performs at the Latitude Festival in Southwold, England. Picture: Getty Images

The message is clear. There will be zero tolerance at FNB Stadium this weekend during British superstar Ed Sheeran’s two concerts.

About 140 000 revellers are expected to attend the two shows at the stadium and anyone who does not follow the rules could be arrested.

To prevent a repeat of the disaster after the Global Citizen Festival last December, Stadium Management SA, Big Concerts, the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD), South African Police Service, Uber and the City of Joburg co-hosted a safety briefing at the venue yesterday.

“Our previous plans worked, but we’re also including armed crime prevention officers on site,” Superintendent Wayne Minnaar, spokesperson for the JMPD, said.

Minnaar said the rules were tighter than ever before. A designated e-hailing spot has been introduced and Uber, Taxify and general drivers will not be permitted to make drop-offs or pick-ups along the ring road around the stadium. Those who defy this rule could be arrested.

The e-hailing drop-off zone is at the corner of Nasrec 5 and Commerce Street, and e-drivers would be asked to use this area only.

“We ask people to familiarise themselves with the precinct map, which clearly indicates the various areas outside the stadium,” CEO of Big Concerts Justin van Wyk said.

The police officers inside the venue during the concert would be deployed to parking areas following the event.

At the Global Citizen Festival last year, 72 illegal parking guards were arrested. Stadium Management said it was a major problem when these guards ran amok, creating confusion among parking ticket holders and bottle-necking traffic.

“Parking tickets are clearly marked,” managing director of Stadium Management Bertie Grobbelaar said. “We have event exclusive zones and you can only be in that area if you have a corresponding ticket. People in the wrong zone can and will be arrested.”

These measures are to ensure the mass hysteria and crime spree following the Global Citizen Festival is avoided.

Big Concerts have called on ticket holders to be responsibile and familiarise themselves with the map showing the specific areas to enter, park and find public transport.

Big Concerts would also up their social media presence on the days, and would release a WhatsApp number this week that people can use in emergencies or for extra information during the concerts.

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  • There will be 1 116 security officials inside the stadium. Previous concerts, including Global One, had about 900.
  • There will be 42 security oversight managers on duty to ensure a smooth operation.
  • SAPS will deploy the K9 unit, reaction services and officers in the air.
  • Detectives will be deployed to nearby police stations.
  • Parking opens at 10am and the venue at 12am.
  • From 10am there will be vendors outside the venue.

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