Safety drive for Oz fans

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

SYD­NEY: Aus­tralia has launched an un­prece­dented safety cam­paign for its cit­i­zens vis­it­ing South Africa for the 2010 World Cup, warn­ing of a “high level of vi­o­lent crime”.

For­eign Min­is­ter Stephen Smith said the World Cup would be Aus­tralia’s largest-ever con­sular ex­er­cise, with mo­bile em­bassies to be set up at all Soc­ceroos games and up­dates via so­cial net­work­ing sites Face­book and Twit­ter.

“We are ex­pect­ing more than 10 000 Aus­tralians to visit South Africa dur­ing the tour­na­ment, with more than 43 000 tick­ets sold to Aus­tralians,” Smith said on Fri­day.

A spe­cial for­eign af­fairs travel bul­letin for the World Cup urged Aus­tralians to ex­er­cise a high level of cau­tion in South Africa.

“Mug­gings, rape, armed rob­bery and other forms of theft are com­mon,” it warned.

“Mur­ders and car­jack­ings in­volv­ing for­eign tourists have also been re­ported. Trav­ellers have been robbed and as­saulted af­ter hav­ing their food or drinks spiked.”

Smith urged Aus­tralians to reg­is­ter their travel plans with the depart­ment, sub­scribe to free e-mail up­dates on se­cu­rity and take out com­pre­hen­sive travel in­surance.

Mo­bile em­bassies will be es­tab­lished at all Aus­tralia games and a 24hour hot­line was in op­er­a­tion, with up­dates also avail­able at AUSCon­sular2010 on Twit­ter or the Aus­tralia High Com­mis­sion South Africa Face­book site.

South Africa has hired tens of thou­sands of ex­tra po­lice for the tour­na­ment in a bid to counter its rep­u­ta­tion as one of the world’s most crimerid­den coun­tries. – Sapa-AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.