South Africa has tighetend security and restricted its airspace for the BRICS Summit which begins in Johanesburg next week.
The country said it is prepared to extend a warm reception to delegations from BRICS member nations, who are scheduled to convene at the Sandton Convention Centre.
The summit, regarded as an “important event on the calendar of geopolitics,” is anticipated to commence on the upcoming Tuesday, as confirmed by the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) of the South African Government, which has attested to the preparedness of the nation.
The NATJOINTS, an acronym for National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure, is a security framework that is under the leadership of the South African Police Service (SAPS), the State Security Agency (SSA), and the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).
Lieutenant General Tebello Mosikili, who serves as the Deputy National Police Commissioner of South Africa and is co-chairperson within NATJOINTS, said no stone will be left unturned in ensuring that everyone attending the summit is safe.
“I would like to assure the nation that NATJOINTS is satisfied with its plans to secure the BRICS Summit, which will be held in less than the next seven days. The main summit is expected to start on the 22nd of August until the 24th of August.
“I must indicate that as a country, we are proud to announce that it is not the first time South Africa hosts a BRICS Summit. As with the previous summit held in the country previously, NATJOINTS is confident this one will also take place in a safe and secure environment,” said Mosilikili.
However, NATJOINTS will not place total reliance on the experience gained from the previous summit held in 2013 and 2018 but will enhance its capabilities through the use of advanced technology and maximum involvement of law enforcement agencies.
“We take every event as if it is being held for the first time. The NATJOINTS is mandated to secure and ensure thorough planning, implementation, execution, and monitoring of all aspects concerning safety, security, and stability in the Republic of South Africa.
“The NATJOINTS is ready to ensure that as the government prepares to welcome heads of state, ministers, and leaders from various countries from across the world, this happens in a safe and secure environment with minimal to no incident of instability and criminality,” she said.
“Working closely with all stakeholders, the NATJOINTS will heighten police visibility in and around the conference centre with the aim of preventing and combating any form of opportunistic crime, pre, during, and post the summit.
“We have mobilised maximum resources from all departments involved in the planning of this particular event, together with various law enforcement agencies, including the metro police department from Ekurhuleni and the City of Johannesburg Local Municipalities,” Mosikili said.
The Lieutenant General assured the nation that a committee of representatives from many departments across all three spheres of the Government has been convening regularly to address the development of a security strategy.
The plan aims to assess numerous aspects, including transportation, routes, venues, accommodations, traffic management, and sea, land, and air border protection.
Moreover, Mosikili briefly explained that the summit was being approached through the NATJOINTS Standard, which employs a comprehensive 5-pillar strategy to ensure extensive coverage of all aspects.
- Intelligence gathering, analysis and coordination;
- High visibility policing, prevention and response;
- Combat approach in response to any violation of law;
- Detection and case management;
- Awareness and information sharing.
Strict measures have also been taken to introduce safety restrictions to ensure the summit’s smooth running. Access to the venue and restricted areas will be granted exclusively to those with proper accreditation.
Those who have not yet obtained accreditation, such as officials and media members, are strongly encouraged to engage in preregistration and acquire a non-transferable form of accreditation. The accreditation process concludes on August 18th.
The NATJOINTS co-chairperson warned that anyone possessing a fraudulent accreditation would be subjected to the full extent of the law.
She said a comprehensive strategy involving heightened roadblocks, vehicle checkpoints, expanded foot patrols, and vehicle-mounted air patrols would be implemented to facilitate a high-density operational approach.
“No accreditation card, no entry to the venue. A serious offence to exchange cards among colleagues and friends. High-density operation through increased roadblocks, vehicle checkpoints, high visibility on foot, and vehicle-mounted air patrols will be conducted,” she warned.
Mosikili also confirmed that the Civil Aviation Authority had released a notice to inform all airmen of airspace restrictions surrounding the conference venue.
These restrictions encompass an area within a two-nautical mile radius and extend up to 5,000 feet above sea level. The restricted airspace will be in effect from 8 am on August 20th to midnight on August 24th.
The restriction is extended to those operating unmanned aerial vehicles (AUVs), also known as drones.
“All flyers are advised that this is a restricted no drone zone. Those found to be operating drones in the vicinity will be in breach of the restrictions imposed by the Civil Aviation Authority, and as such, steps will be taken against transgressors. Limited access to Sandton Convention Centre,” she said.
An unconfirmed number of law enforcement officers are expected around the conference area starting this weekend.
“Each and every member deployed has a responsibility and an obligation to execute their respective mandates professionally, impartially, and with integrity. It is on that note that we request everyone within the borders of South Africa to cooperate with law enforcement officers,” said Mosikili.
“We are therefore making a call to all South Africans to welcome our international guests with humanity, warmth, and care, in the true spirit of Ubuntu. We, therefore, affirm as NATJOINTS that we are ready for the upcoming event.”