With Batons and Vuvuzelas. To What Extent Can South Africa’s Safety and Security Policy for the 2010 FIFA World Cup Make a Sustainable Contribution to International Tourism to the Country?

Master's Thesis, 2010

133 Pages, Grade: 2


Table of Contents




Listof Figures


1. Introduction

2. Preliminary Considerations
2.1 The Debatable Effects of Sport Mega-Events
2.2 The Safety and Security Situation in South Africa
2.3 Crime in South Africa - A Legacy of the Past?
2.4 South Africa’s Image as an International Tourist Destination
2.5 The Safety and Security Policy for the 2010 FIFA World Cup
2.6 Police Show ofForce on 17 May 2010

3. Research QuestionandHypotheses

4. Methodology
4.1 ResearchMethods
4.2 Limitations
4.3 Expert Profiles

5. Results
5.1 Hosting a Maj or Event
5.1.1 South Africa’s Track Record
5.1.2 EffectsAssociatedwiththe2010FIFAWorldCup
5.2 Safety and Security in South Africa
5.2.1 CurrentSituation
5.2.2 FactorsContributing toCrime
5.2.3 Area and Tourist Related Concerns
5.2.4 Impact of Safety and Security Concerns on Tourism
5.3 Safety and Security Measures for the 2010 FIFA World Cup
5.3.1 Effectiveness
5.3.2 Sustainability
5.3.3 Impacton International Tourism

6. Discussion
6.1 Reductions in Crime - Is There Hope?
6.2 The Issue of ‘No-Go Areas’
6.3 Tourism Safety in South Africa
6.4 The ‘Promise’ ofMore Tourists?
6.5 Lasting Legacy cum Laude?

7. Conclusions

8. Recommendations

9. Bibliography
9.1 Literature and Statistics
9.2 Speeches
9.3 Expert Interviews


Appendix A: Interview Guideline

Appendix B: Interview Transcriptions (only in digital version)


I dedicate this work to my late father, Fritz Mittag, 25/11/1942 - 23/09/2008.


First of all, I would like to thank Prof. Dr. Manfred Rolfes who supported me in my studies at the University of Potsdam for many years and enabled me to conduct my research, write my thesis and also spend my final semester at home in South Africa. Furthermore, my sincerest gratitude goes out to all interviewees for their kind support and the time they found to assist me in my research. Last but by no means least I wish to thank my family, my friends and the great people of South Africa who continue to be my source of inspiration and ubuntu. Ngiyabonga kakhulu.


This thesis examines the extent to which the safety and security policy implemented for the 2010 FIFA World Cup can make a sustainable contribution to international tourism to South Africa. Qualitative interviews were conducted with local experts from the fields of sport and recreation, safety and security, tourism and economic development in order to establish the effectiveness, sustainability and long-term impact of the 2010 safety and security plan on one of the country’s most significant and fastest growing economic sectors. The results of the empirical research reveal, amongst other things, that urban renewal and gentrification have rendered certain areas in South African cities more attractive and secure and that a comprehensive tourism safety network has been developed to cater for the needs of tourists. Finally, it can be concluded that the 2010 safety and security policy’s sustainability cannot be guaranteed although its successful implementation will have improved global perceptions of South Africa as a tourist destination and have played a pivotal role in attracting future overseas visitors.

Diese Masterarbeit untersucht, inwiefern die Sicherheitspolitik im Rahmen der FIFA Fußball-Weltmeisterschaft 2010 einen nachhaltigen Beitrag zum internationalen Tourismus nach Südafrika leisten kann. Qualitative Interviews mit lokalen Experten aus den Bereichen Sport, Sicherheit, Tourismus und Wirtschaftsentwicklung wurden durchgeführt, um die Wirksamkeit, Nachhaltigkeit und längerfristige Bedeutung des Sicherheitsplans für einen der wichtigsten und zukunftsträchtigsten Wirtschaftszweige des Landes zu ermitteln. Die Ergebnisse der empirischen Forschung zeigen unter anderem, dass Stadterneuerung und Gentrifizierung gewissen urbanen Räumen mehr Attraktivität und Sicherheit verliehen haben und dass ein umfassendes Netzwerk für die besonderen Sicherheitsbedürfnisse von Touristen besteht. Es lässt sich schlussfolgern, dass die Zukunftsfähigkeit der WM-Sicherheitspolitik zwar nicht gewährleistet werden kann, aber dass dessen erfolgreiche Umsetzung die weltweite Wahrnehmung von Südafrika als Reiseziel verbessern und somit einen wertvollen und langfristigen Beitrag zum internationalen Tourismus leisten konnte.

List of Figures

Figure 1: Murder Rates per 100,000 in Selected Countries

Figure 2: Vicious Circle of Crime and Urban Blight

Figure 3: Arrivals and Departures ofForeign Travellers in South Africa, 21 1980-

Figure 4: Number of Tourists from Eight Leading Overseas Countries in 22 January 2010 and January

Figure 5: 2010 FIFA World Cup Host Cities

Figure 6: Road Show during the Police Show of Force

Figure 7: Green Point Stadium


Figure 9: No-Go Areas in Germany

Figure 10: Key Role-Players in the Tourism Safety Network

Figure 11 : Visitors Safety Tips Brochure

List ofTables

Table 1: Intentional Homicide, Rate per 100,000 of the Population

Table 2: Rates of Serious Crime during the 2003/2004 to 2008/2009 Financial Years and the Percentage Increases/Decreases between 2007/2008 and 2008/

Table 3: Raw Figures of Serious Crime during the 2003/2004 to 17 2008/2009 Financial Years and the Percentage Increases/Decreases between 2007/2008 and 2008/

Table 4: National Situation Analysis of the 2010 FIFA World Cup

Table 5: Extract from the South African Government’s 2010 FIFA World Cup Safety and Security Plan

Table 6: Overview ofExpert Interviews

Table 7: Overview of Selected Major Events Hosted by South Africa

1. Introduction

Few people could have ever imagined that the supposedly bothersome noise of the vuvuzelas would repeatedly make front-page news and spark controversial debates across the globe during the 2010 FIFA[1] World Cup. Evidently not everyone watching the games on television, radio or in the stadiums was quite as exuberant about the trumpet-like devices as many of the local football supporters. Even though the successful hosting of the World Cup managed to dampen many doubts about the host nation South Africa’s readiness to stage an event of such magnitude, the deafening sound of the vuvuzelas would not be loud enough to drown out and distract from cases in which foreign visitors fell victim to acts of crime. As expected, the media was always quick to pounce on such stories and divulge them to the international community.

With the tourism industry being one of South Africa’s most important economic sectors and perceptions of the country already tarnished by the notion of a crime-ridden and lawless society, the Republic could certainly not afford too much bad press during the sport mega-event. Overwhelmingly negative publicity would not only have had disastrous consequences for South Africa’s image as an international tourist destination, but would also have compromised the nation’s ability to attract foreign investors and future major events. For this reason, the hosts at the southern tip of Africa would undertake to develop a policy ensuring the safety and security of overseas and national football fans alike. This plan would need to be particularly effective in view of the country’s high prevalence of crime and the almost half a million foreign visitors arriving at its shores.

This master’s thesis primarily investigates the very safety and security policy that was implemented for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the sustainable contribution it can make to international tourism to South Africa. The empirical research done in the context of this paper followed an extensive literature review and involved conducting qualitative interviews with experts from various fields in order to assess the extent to which the safety and security measures set up for the 2010 football tournament can have a long-term impact on one of the country’s most significant and promising economic pillars.

While progressing towards an answer to the research question, this paper touches on a variety of issues ranging from sport mega-events, crime and perceptions of South Africa to human capital flight, ‘no-go areas’ and tourism safety. In this regard, the research findings can make a valuable contribution to the fields of applied geography, regional sciences and urban studies with a particular focus on safety and security as well as area-specific and tourist-related matters. Moreover, the results can significantly add to the particular study of the legacy left by sport mega-events and of crime and corruption in South Africa.

With respect to the structure of this paper, the following chapter contains a number of preliminary considerations and precedes a closer look at the research question and hypotheses as well as an insight into the research methods used. The results of the empirical work that follow are succeeded by a short discussion, final conclusions and several recommendations for future research. The end of the paper includes a complete bibliography and appendices.

2. Preliminary Considerations

For one, these preliminary considerations comprise a literature review on relevant topics pertaining to the research context, for instance the nature and effects of mega-events, South Africa’s safety and security situation and prevailing perceptions of the country as a foreign destination. Furthermore, the chapter focuses on the safety and security policy that was introduced for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the Police Show of Force held on 17 May 2010 to showcase South Africa’s readiness to host a safe and successful football tournament.

2.1 The Debatable Effects of Sport Mega-Events

Large-scale sporting events have in the past left their mark in many parts of the world and now ever more developing and emerging nations are engaging in elaborate bidding campaigns. To better understand the context in which South Africa staged the 2010 FIFA World Cup, it is necessary to examine the nature and effects of so-called sport mega-events. After all, by hosting the FIFA World Cup, South Africa not only received its probably ‘largest and most sustained level of international attention since the anti-apartheid struggles of the 1980s’ (Nauright 2004: 1328) and experienced an ‘image enhancement’ (Comelissen & Swart 2006: 111), but it also began to reap the economic and social benefits that such a sporting mega-event can entail. According to Roche’s definition, mega-events are ‘large-scale cultural (including commercial and sporting) events, which have a dramatic character, mass popular appeal and international significance’ (Roche 2000: 1). Baasch adds that mega-events are typically characterised by their popularity, their economic dimension and their prestige as ‘must-see-events’ (2010: 77). Taking into account these definitions, it becomes clear that major sport events can have both a domestic impact on the host nation and on the way the country is portrayed in the international media.

Regarding the domestic impact, one can certainly mention the positive effects on the tourism industry and the labour market with respect to new employment opportunities. Furthermore, the development and expansion of the local infrastructure can be expected in the form of new roads, hotels, stadiums and improvements in public transport - not least to take full advantage of investment prospects that accompany such events (Comelissen & Swart 2006: 110). In the long term, the locational advantages hereby created have the potential to reel in foreign investment, stimulate the tourism industry and make a contribution to ‘regeneration and broader developmental goals’ (ibid.). However, in addition to the contribution made to urban renewal and economic development in the host nation, sport mega-events offer the opportunity to address issues in the field of social development. Even though these events are of only short duration, governments can make use of them as strategic social and political instruments (Hiller 1998, Donaldson & Ferreira 2007: 354). Socially, mega-events can therefore serve as a ‘tool for the development of urban communities, and the reduction of social exclusion and crime’ (Horne & Manzenreiter 2006: 11).

On the other hand, it is argued that there is no certainty that sport mega­events bring about the aforementioned social and economic effects. Careful consideration should be given both to the question of whether the employment created is part-time, full-time, temporary or permanent and to the specific development challenges faced by the respective host nation (Home & Manzenreiter 2006: 11, Pillay & Bass 2008: 330). The growing scepticism amongst scholars with regard to the economic and social development attributed to hosting mega-events may be associated with the often intangible and ambiguous long-term effects - the ‘known unknowns’ as Horne & Manzenreiter put it while referring to a growing ‘secrecy and lack of transparency’ on the part of major stakeholders (2006: 9). Although detailed research is carried out in the run-up to mega-events on behalf of interested parties, the organisers seldom ever conduct subsequent analyses to ascertain the actual benefits drawn. These sporting functions thus continue to breed in a ‘fantasy world of underestimated costs, overestimated revenues, underestimated environmental impacts and over-valued economic development effects’ (Horne & Manzenreiter 2006: 10).

Pillay & Bass point out that there are even numerous economically harmful factors that come into play such as the inappropriate displacement of public funds and the repellent effect of crowded host cities on business travellers and potential investors (2008: 335). Especially the diversion of public spending is regarded as highly problematic, notably in the developing world, as it often goes hand in hand with budget cuts affecting those who will probably neither benefit from nor attend the mega-events, namely ‘the urban poor [...] and people in country districts a long way from the city’ (Whitson 2004: 1227-1228). These cutbacks are made by the government while developers and other stakeholders easily gain access to public subsidies (Horne & Manzenreiter 2006: 8). An example of the negative impact of mega-events is given by Lenskyj who claims that the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, termed ‘the best Olympics ever’ by the then International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Juan Antonio Samaranch, ended up exacerbating social problems while first and foremost serving ‘the interest of global capitalism’ (2002: 227-228). Gruneau sums up that only specific members of society such as property owners, developers and the middle-class (and not the poor) benefit from the more active engagement by politicians and the media during major sports events (2002: ix-x). All things considered, one should perhaps take the publicised benefits associated with hosting a mega-event with a grain of salt and certainly differentiate between those who ‘win’ and those who ‘lose’.

2.2 The Safety and Security Situation in South Africa

In modern societies, communicating about safety and security is part and parcel of everyday life (Korth & Rolfes 2010: 99). In South Africa, however, the public dialogue on safety and security makes for much more than polite conversation seeing as it often ‘dominates the domestic agendas’ of the country’s leadership, civil society and media reports (Burger 2007: 1). In addition, it plays a central role in the way the country is perceived by its own people and by the international community. In this manner, the safety and security situation influences the image portrayed to the rest of the world and can potentially have a profound impact on the country’s tourism industry.

The prevailing international perception seems to be that ‘South Africa is an unsafe destination, with an uncontrollable crime situation’ (Donaldson & Ferreira 2007: 354) and prior to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, many experts expressed their doubts about the nation’s readiness to host the event and urged the government to take special safety and security measures to accommodate the mass arrival of tourists (Burger 2007: 6). In this regard, it is certainly consequential to ask why the Republic evokes the notion of crime and insecurity.

As Demombynes & Özler indicate, South Africa has crime rates that are ‘among the highest in the world’ (2005: 288). This can also be illustrated with the help of statistics provided by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS[2] ) in 2000 that compare murder rates in selected countries around the world (see Figure 1).

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Figure 1: MurderRates per 100,000 in Selected Countries (Source: ISS 2000)

The graph in Figure 1 shows South Africa in third place with 51.4 recorded murders per 100,000 of the population, behind Columbia (62.7) and Swaziland (88.6). A report issued by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in the year 2002, termed the Eighth United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems, even puts South Africa at first place in the categories ‘intentional homicide, completed’ and ‘intentional homicide, attempted’ with a rate of 47.53 (per 100,000) and 79.08 respectively (UNODC 2002). A further report published by the UNODC in 2004 confirms the Republic’s pole position with regard to international murder rates. The publication gives South Africa the lead with an intentional homicide rate of 69.0[3] (per 100,000 of the population) ahead of Jamaica (55.2), El Salvador (57.5) and Columbia (61.1) (see Table 1).

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The annual report published in the middle of every year by the South African Police Service (SAPS) does not only give an impression of the government’s achievements and failures in the fight against crime, but in the run­up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup it also drew particular attention from the international community (Korth & Rolfes 2010: 100). According to the 2008/2009 report, South Africa can boast a year-on-year decline in the rates[4] of murder, attempted murder, common assault and common robbery of 3.4%, 4.3%, 4.3% and 10.4% respectively. On the other hand, the rate of sexual offences (which include rape and indecent assault) increased by 10.1% (see Table 2).

Table 2: Rates of Serious Crime during the 2003/2004 to 2008/2009 Financial Years and the Percentage Increases/Decreases between 2007/2008 and 2008/2009 (Source: SAPS 2009: 5)

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Despite a drop in almost all categories of crime since 2003/2004, a simple look at the raw figures reveals a rather gloomy and disturbing picture that eclipses the

South African Police Service’s touted achievements. With 18,148 murders, 71,500 sexual offences, 121,392 aggravated robberies and 203,777 assaults ‘with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm’ in 2008/2009, South Africa obviously still has a far way to go in dealing with its unsettling crime situation (see Table 3).

Table 3: Raw Figures of Serious Crime during the 2003/2004 to 2008/2009 Financial Years and the Percentage Increases/Decreases between 2007/2008 and 2008/2009 (Source: SAPS 2009: 5)

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In the context of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and from a tourism point of view, it is interesting to note that especially South Africa’s large cities, of which most served as host venues and are regarded as popular destinations, are hardest hit by serious crime (Korth & Rolfes 2010: 99). Cape Town, the country’s main urban tourist destination and a host venue for numerous 2010 matches, used to enjoy very low levels of crime during the years of apartheid. Since the early 1990s, however, the city at the southern tip of Africa has experienced a ‘significant increase in crime rates, especially in crimes aimed at tourists’ (Pizam et al. 1997: 25). Pizam et al. add that during South Africa’s festive season in the months of December 1995 and January 1996 ‘at least 10 of the 85 reported muggings involved tourists, and 1 out of every 10 robberies or pick-pocketing crimes was committed against a tourist in 1995-96’ (1997: 25).

It goes without saying that such statistics, especially when picked up by the international media, can be extremely detrimental to a country’s image as a foreign destination. In this context, it is worth taking a closer look at the historical background of this national pandemic.

2.3 Crime in South Africa - A Legacy of the Past?

Numerous sociological and economic theories have been postulated to explain the correlation between the uneven distribution of wealth and criminality. Certain disparities can supposedly be traced back to a lack of social capital[5], limited social mobility or social disorder and thus explain escalating levels of crime. Demombynes & Özler highlight that inequalities between population groups ‘may engender conflict in a society’ if ethnic and socio-economic differences are consolidated and reinforced (2005: 288). The differences between the haves and the have-nots are especially apparent in big cities where poverty and prosperity are often very close neighbours (Gnad 2002: 64).

In order to understand the roots of poverty and social disorder in the Republic of South Africa, one needs to go back as far as colonial times when wide-spread expropriation began to deprive the non-white population of wealth and the right to land. Ethnic discrimination that was continued and reinforced with the advent of apartheid did not just shape the face of everyday life, but also had an influence on the workings of financial markets and public institutions such as schools, hospitals and universities. This strongly perceived inequality resulted in continuous and brutal acts of violence as well as heightened political instability in the country (May 1998: 4).

The founding of homelands during the early years of apartheid exacerbated the problem of poverty as these designated regions set aside for South Africa’s black inhabitants contained 72% of the country’s total population but occupied only 13% of the total area (Waugh 2002: 373). These territories were characterised by poor health conditions, overcrowding, erosion and soil degradation, dwindling resources, a lack of agricultural know-how, social isolation, a defective infrastructure and insufficient employment opportunities that all undermined the livelihood of many individuals, households and communities (May 1998: 4). With an economic demise of the former homeland territories in the offing, many black South Africans, especially young males, headed for the urban agglomerations as soon as the Group Areas Act was abolished and the bantustans were reintegrated into the Republic. On the one hand, these post-apartheid migration waves led to the creation of vast slums in urban peripheries. On the other hand, they forced households and communities in rural regions to get by with even less human capital. The loss of human resources is nowadays, however, increasingly compensated by translocality processes that allow rural areas to benefit from wealth created in the cities (cf. Steinbrink 2009).

Nonetheless, with many former homelands being economically unviable and most young people having departed, these rural regions grapple with abject poverty. The population left behind struggles to thrive on agriculture and has little if no chance to become economically successful and escape from its destitute conditions. This ‘chronic poverty’ (Aliber 2003: 473, Carter & May 1999, May 1998) intensifies rural depopulation as young South Africans move to the big cities to try their luck. Since the end of apartheid, cities such as Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban have consequently experienced the effects of black urbanisation, including a mass influx of people from surrounding and more distant rural areas as well as a significant and perceptible demographic reshuffle.

While former bantustans such as Transkei, Kwazulu and Lebowa have lost a considerable amount of their human capital, the demand for accommodation in the cities has risen at a tearing pace. Neither the townships nor the inner-city areas can provide sufficient housing for the new arrivals so that informal settlements (also known as ‘shanty towns’ or ‘squatter camps’) that are characterised by low living standards, a poor infrastructure and destitution have developed on the outskirts of urban areas (Jürgens & Bähr 1998, Gnad 2002).

In South African cities, however, poverty and unemployment are not only found on the rural-urban (and societal) fringe, but also in the inner-city areas that have experienced a social and economic downturn since the early 1990s. In the old Central Business District (CBD) of Johannesburg, for example, the high crime rate and great distances to economically significant locations compelled many shops, companies and even the stock exchange to relocate to some of the city’s northern suburbs, especially Sandton. These areas are known to have a highly developed infrastructure, good transport links, highly qualified manpower and most importantly, this is where the more affluent clientele is situated. A result of this suburbanisation was the loss of a strong tax base which in turn caused land prices to plummet and the inner-city to dilapidate (Gnad 2002). Many black South

Africans from the townships, informal settlements and rural areas seized this opportunity and, together with (in many cases illegal) immigrants from Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other Sub-Saharan African countries, occupied the vacant apartments despite seldom being able to afford the rent or maintenance. As a result, once sought-after inner-city residential locations such as Hillbrow transformed into derelict breeding grounds for crime, prostitution and drug trafficking (see Figure 2).

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Figure 2: Vicious Circle of Crime and Urban Blight (Source: Own design, based on Gnad 2002)

Aside from inner-city ghettoïsation and the criminal activities involved, the aforementioned close proximity of rich and poor might play a significant role in explaining the country’s high incidence of crime. In contrast, the mere phenomenon of rich and poor people living next to each other along with the widening gap between the wealthy and destitute and South Africa’s GINI coefficient of 0.58, which ranks amongst the highest in the world, cannot singlehandedly explain the scourge (cf. May 1998: 3). In conclusion, a range of underlying causes and contributory factors leading to criminal activity need to be taken into consideration, inter alia, historical conditions, geopolitical practices during the apartheid era, newer developments in urban planning, a lack of employment opportunities as well as the personnel and structural challenges faced by the South African Police Service (cf. Burger 2007: 6).

2.4 South Africa’s Image as an International Tourist Destination

In a preceding section discussing the effects of mega-events, an increase in tourism is mentioned as one possible by-product of hosting a major sporting event such as the 2010 FIFA World Cup. South Africa saw an influx of visiting guests in the course of the football tournament, which entailed a fastidious safety and security plan in light of the high concentration of foreign visitors over a short period of time, the potential for hooliganism-related clashes along with the possibility of terrorist attacks (Donaldson & Ferreira 2007: 354). In this part, a closer look will be taken at South Africa’s image as a foreign destination with respect to its particular safety and security issues.

South Africa, which is Africa’s top tourist destination attracting more than 25 percent of all tourists to the continent, is generally perceived as ‘an unsafe place to visit’ with an ‘uncontrollable crime situation’ (Donaldson & Ferreira 2007: 354), a consensus shared by numerous scholars (Minnaar 2007: 13; Van Niekerk & Oelofse 2007: 1, George 2003, Weaver 2001). Despite this negative perception, a glimpse into the tourism statistics published by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) in 2008 reveals an uninterrupted surge in the arrival and departure of foreign travellers to South Africa in the period from 1990 (approx. 1,000,000) to 2008 (approx. 10,000,000). The sudden and consistent increase in foreign arrivals may presumably be attributed to the end of the apartheid era and the resulting improvement in South Africa’s international ties (see Figure 3).

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Figure 3: Arrivals and Departures of Foreign Travellers in South Africa, 1980-2008 (Source: Statistics South Africa 2008: 1)

The consistent increase in tourism seen in Figure 3 certainly challenges the opinion of many scholars who argue that safety and security problems have a negative impact on foreign arrivals (Pizam & Mansfield 1996, Dimanche & Leptic 1999, Levantis & Gani 2000). George explains that tourists’ reservations are seldom unfounded and are based on sound research that provides evidence of foreign travellers being prime targets in areas affected by a high prevalence of crime (2003: 578). Such convictions, however, cannot be detected in the recently published statistics on the number of tourists arriving from South Africa’s eight key markets (United Kingdom, Germany, United States, Netherlands, France, Australia, Sweden and Canada). As seen in Figure 4, there is a general increase in tourist numbers in January 2010 compared to January 2009.

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Figure 4: Number of Tourists from Eight Leading Overseas Countries in January 2010 and January 2009 (Source: Statistics South Africa 2010: 4)

Some scholars maintain that the aforementioned perceived fear of crime stands in no relation to the actual risk (Brunt et al. 2000) and that ‘news reports [...] magnify the danger of crime at destinations’ (Donaldson & Ferreira 2007: 355). Using the example of Germany’s mass media, Korth & Rolfes demonstrate how the media succeeds in depicting South Africa as an unsafe foreign destination, not least because newspapers, television, radio and the Internet are the primary means by which a large part of the German population paints its picture of the Republic (2010: 97). Cornelissen & Swart underline that ‘a significant aspect of the issue of crime in South Africa is linked to perception and the way in which the international media portrays criminal activity and rates’ (2006: 115).

The main threat to the South African tourism industry may therefore lie in the way the country is portrayed in the international media as a supposedly ‘unsafe’ tourist destination. In addition, it is of no consequence whether crime only occurs in certain areas (e. g. cities, sightseeing hotspots) as tourists ultimately ‘develop a negative impression of the destination as a whole’ which in turn can result in a detrimental drop in tourism to the country (Donaldson & Ferreira 2007: 355).

As displayed in the statistics at hand, negative perceptions of South Africa as a foreign destination have not yet had a tangible effect on the number of foreign travellers flocking to the country. However, South Africa’s image conveyed in the media could possibly become even more blemished and lead to tourists resorting to destinations they perceive as being safer (Donaldson & Ferreira 2007: 355). Tourism is South Africa’s fastest growing industries with the Republic ranking 62nd out of 124 countries according to the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Index (Donaldson & Ferreira 2007: 356). Considering that this economic sector constitutes 7% of employment and contributes about R160 billion to the country’s gross domestic product (GCIS 2009: 499), it would certainly be wise for South Africa’s government to continue engaging in elaborate marketing campaigns and ensuring that effective safety and security strategies are implemented and made aware of to the international public. Finally, such an image enhancement could guarantee the long-term economic and tourism growth as well as the job opportunities promised by the government during its vociferous campaigns around the 2010 FIFA World Cup and eagerly awaited by the country’s population (Cornelissen & Swart 2006: 117).

2.5 The Safety and Security Policy for the 2010 FIFA World Cup

The 2010 FIFA World Cup not only provided an opportunity for South Africa to showcase its ability to host a major sports event, but it also allowed the country to demonstrate how it can deal with safety and security concerns associated with combining a high rate of crime with the arrival of more than 300,000 foreign visitors. Although mega-events are generally accompanied by a meticulous safety and security policy, the 2010 tournament posed its own unique challenges for the

South African government, the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and other role-players in terms of ensuring the safety of football teams, local and foreign spectators and the general public (Burger 2007: 1). With crime being especially prevalent in the country’s urban centres, the safety and security plan needed to focus on keeping spectators safe in and around the nine host cities (see Figure 5).

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Figure 5: 2010 FIFA World Cup Host Cities (Source: Donaldson & Ferreira 2007: 357)

Despite the former National Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi having promised smooth running on the safety and security front, there were numerous shortcomings in the preliminary security plan published in 2005 such as ‘an insufficient focus on tourism safety and security; limited crime prevention capacity; and the lack of a national tourist safety and security plan’ (Donaldson & Ferreira 2007: 358). Being popular with international tourists, the provinces of Mpumalanga and the Western Cape were to serve as leading examples of how to deal with tourist safety concerns. Donaldson & Ferreira mention the examples of the Western Cape and the City of Cape Town that had developed a comprehensive Safety and Security Business Plan to guarantee the safety of foreign visitors, footballers and local residents during the 2010 World Cup (2007: 359).

After the President of South Africa had passed the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Special Measures Act in 2006, safety and security matters in certain designated areas were placed in the hands of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and/or the South African Police Service (SAPS) while the implementation and coordination of specific measures in the nine host cites fell under the sole jurisdiction of the SAPS (ibid.). In addition, a national situation analysis was developed to serve as an anchor for the safety and security policy (see Table 4).

Table 4: National Situation Analysis of the 2010 FIFA World Cup (Source: Donaldson & Ferreira 2007: 359)

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The South African government’s official 2010 FIFA World Cup safety and security plan, which was an integrated strategy inspired by Germany’s 2006 security plan and encompassed areas such as the sports arenas, public viewing venues, accommodation establishments, tourist attractions and ports of entry (Burger 2007: 4), was put online on http://www.sa2010.gov.za/safety-and- security. According to the strategy, a sizeable bouquet of measures would be introduced to ensure that the sporting event was carried out without any major security hiccups. The government’s pledge ranged from working together with international intelligence and monitoring border controls to deploying 41,000 additional police officers and more than doubling the number of reservists from 45,000 to 100,000. A major focus was placed on tourist safety with security personnel guarding hotels, stadiums, fan parks and restaurants as well as a 24- hour hotline set up for visitors in need of police or medical assistance. Table 5 is an extract from the safety and security plan known as The Government’sPromise.

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Table 5: Extract from the South African Government’s 2010 FIFA World Cup Safety and Security Plan (Source: http://www.sa2010.gov.za/safety-and-security, last viewed: 25/05/2010)

The Government’s Promise

The Government has assured the millions of fans who will be coming to watch the 2010 World Cup that they will be safe in South Africa. There are a number of prongs to South Africa’s safety and security plan:

- South Africa will be working closely with international agencies to gather intelligence
- there will be a focus on border security at ports of entry - including South Africa’s land, sea and air borders
- route security, specifically those leading from airports into the cities, will be a priority
- police are to divide the host cities into sections, with teams patrolling sections and focusing on FIFA headquarters, hotels, other accommodation establishments, the stadiums, fan parks, restaurants and tourist venues
- state-of-the-art information and communication military technology will be used as well as a fleet of nearly 40 helicopters
- a dedicated force of 41 000 officers will be deployed.

Some R665-million will be spent on procuring special equipment, including crowd-control equipment, crime scene trainers, unmanned aircraft, helicopters, 10 water cannons, 100 BMWs for highway patrol and up-to-date body armour. About 300 mobile cameras will also be used. There will be four mobile command centres at a cost of around R6 million each. These centres will feature high-tech monitoring equipment, which will be able to receive live footage from the airplanes and other cameras. These investments will continue to assist the police in their crime­fighting initiatives long after the World Cup is over.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) will spend R640 million on the deployment of 41 000 officers specifically for the event. Recruitment and event-specific training for this force is under way. The SAPS is on a massive recruitment drive to increase general police numbers by 55 000 to over 190 000 by 2009. The number of police reservists will also double before the FIFA World Cup, from 45 000 members to 100 000. So, by 2010 South Africa will have a significantly larger and well-trained police service. In addition, countries competing in the event will send their own specially trained police officers to assist with languages and cultural differences and to support the SAPS.

South Africa will have dedicated 2010 police stations within close proximity to each of the stadiums, as well as dedicated crime-investigation teams and special courts to investigate and deal with all event-related crimes 24/7.

A 24-hour multilingual hotline will assist visitors requiring police or medical services. The Regional (SADC) Security Plan has been finalised and cooperation with several countries has been initiated. Border security and sea and air security strategies are in place.

South Africa submitted the comprehensive security plan for the 2010 World Cup to FIFA on 30 June 2008 - on schedule.

Despite this array of what certainly seemed to be a government’s committed strategy to ensure a safe and secure FIFA World Cup, the proof would only be in the pudding served from mid-June to mid-July 2010. Although the government might admittedly have put an impressive safety and security policy in place, one could agree with Pillay that perhaps more than the plan itself, it was important for role-players such as the Minister of Police and National Police Commissioner to ‘lead from the front’ and learn how to ‘listen, engage, respond and accept accountability with respect and humility, but with decisiveness’ (2007: 10).

2.6 Police Show of Force on 17 May 2010

By invitation of the South African Police Service’s spokesperson Vishnu Naidoo, I attended the Police Show of Force on 17 May 2010 in the Johannesburg suburb of Sandton. This event was organised to showcase the South African Police Service (SAPS) and other security forces’ readiness to ensure a safe and secure 2010 FIFA World Cup. The function was accompanied by a large convoy of vehicles from the SAPS, other law enforcement agencies, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and emergency services. The procession passed through the streets of Sandton while helicopters from the SAPS and South African Air Force (SAAF) hovered over the heads of onlookers (see Figure 6).

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Figure 6: Road Show during the Police Show of Force (Source: Own photograph)

The road show was followed by speeches from the Premier of Gauteng, Ms Nomvula Paula Mokonyane, National Commissioner of Police, General Bheki Cele, Minister of Police, Mr Nathi Mthetwa and the Deputy Minister of Police, Mr Fikile April Mbalula. Ms Mokonyane opened the round by praising the partnership between government and the private sector in the fight against crime and describing the performance by the Police Show of Force as ‘most impressive’.

She added that Gauteng would be the centre stage of the World Cup tournament with the province hosting a third of all football matches. In this context, she boldly stated that ‘if Gauteng is safe, the whole country is safe’ and that all law enforcement agencies involved would ensure that South Africa hosts a safe and secure World Cup.

General Bheki Cele continued by saying that the South African Police were ready for the World Cup and that both South Africans and foreign visitors would be safe during the tournament. The SAPS’s Special Task Force, supported by the National Intervention Unit and Tactical Response Team, would be ready for ‘any eventuality in the water, in the air and on the land’. Cele further declared that criminals should be warned and that the SAPS were ready to ‘squeeze the space for thugs’. Moreover, he pledged that the safety and security measures implemented for the FIFA World Cup would be maintained beyond 2010 and benefit the people of South Africa.

Minister Nathi Mthetwa underlined that government had increased its efforts in dealing with crime and that it had realised that it would have to work ‘faster and smarter’. Government had adopted a new ‘multifaceted approach’ by teaming up with community policing forums, business associations and international partners. In effect, South Africa would host ‘the safest and most secure FIFA World Cup’ and do everything in its power to guarantee the safety of 2010 visitors and South Africans. With the government’s security plan covering every comer of the country, there would be no ‘no-go areas’.

Finally, Deputy Minister Fikile April Mbalula appealed to the audience not to engage in illegal activities and to stay away from anyone involved in crime. Thereafter, he thanked everyone who participated in staging the Police Show of Force and applauded the South African police for the work that they had done.

Although the Police Show of Force managed to exhibit the calibre of South Africa’s law enforcement agencies and emergency services, it remained to be seen how effective these resources would be in securing the host venues and all other areas in which foreign visitors and South Africans would be spending their time. After all, some areas would certainly be of more concern than others and therefore one of the objectives of the empirical research would be to establish whether the SAPS and other role-players had taken such spatial particularities into account.

3. Research Question and Hypotheses

The literature review in the previous chapter bears testimony to a considerable amount of research conducted on the social, economic and urban-morphological effects of sport mega-events, the safety and security situation in South Africa as well as on the perceptions of the Republic as an international tourist destination. However, it would seem that almost no findings exist on the correlation between a host nation’s safety and security plan and its international tourism industry.

Nevertheless, both Baasch and Donaldson & Ferreira share the thesis that a safe and secure 2010 FIFA World Cup would be able to improve South Africa’s crime-ridden image and have a positive impact on international tourism to the country (Donaldson & Ferreira 2009, Baasch 2010: 88). Seeing as it is difficult to assess or precisely determine a ‘safe and secure’ World Cup tournament, this paper will explicitly focus on the South African government’s integrated security strategy and its potential impact on the nation’s image as a tourist destination and future foreign arrivals. Based on the preliminary considerations, numerous hypotheses can be formulated in this regard:

- South Africa has a worrying crime situation despite a decrease in certain categories of contact crime.
- Especially the country’s cities are plagued by crime.
- Various factors contribute to the high incidence of crime.
- Tourists are particularly vulnerable to acts of felony.
- The government’s safety and security policy will benefit the people of South Africa in future.
- The 2010 FIFA World Cup along with its safety and security plan can potentially improve South Africa’s international image (as a tourist destination) and promote foreign tourism to the country.

Taking these hypotheses into consideration, this paper will attempt to answer the main research question to what extent the safety and security policy for the 2010 FIFA World Cup can make a sustainable contribution to international tourism to the Republic of South Africa.

4. Methodology

4.1 Research Methods

In order to ascertain the potential impact of South Africa’s safety and security policy for the 2010 FIFA World Cup on international tourism, qualitative interviews were conducted with experts from the fields of sport and recreation, safety and security, tourism and economic development (see Table 6). An unrestrictive and adaptable interview guideline (see Appendix A) was employed so as to gather as much relevant information as possible and leave sufficient room to pose additional and more detailed questions pertaining to the predefined area of research. In cases where questions related to effects or correlations that were unknown at the point of time of the meeting, the interviewees were asked to provide predictive opinions or estimations.

The expert interviews were recorded and subsequently transcribed. Inspired by Mayring’s method of qualitative content analysis, the interview transcriptions were evaluated and the results compiled according to suitable and concise categories (cf. Mayring 2002, Mayring 2003). These categories correspond to the subheadings used in the results chapter of this thesis.

Table 6: Overview of Expert Interviews

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4.2 Limitations

The empirical method of conducting qualitative interviews involves specific limitations and disadvantages. Firstly, one must take into account that not all information provided by the interviewees can be substantiated and that some answers and particularly the personal opinions expressed are subjective in nature. As a result, not all data can be taken at face value, which to a certain extent undermines the validity and reliability of the empirical findings.

Secondly, it must be noted that some of the qualitative interviews were conducted ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup (11 June to 11 July 2010) while others took place during the event. This can potentially influence the comparability of the results and therefore the dates of the interviews have been indicated (see Table 6) and should be taken into consideration.

4.3 Expert Profiles

Dr Johan Burger is a senior researcher in the Crime and Justice Programme at the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria. The ISS is a non-profit research organisation that, amongst other things, aims at informing and educating the general public and international community about the safety and security situation on the African continent, including the potential threats involved as well as the security operations and measures put in place by law enforcement agencies. Burger is a former member of the South African Police Service (SAPS) where he gathered considerable experience in the field of policing major events. He has written and published numerous articles on the topic of safety and security and during the 2010 FIFA World Cup he was responsible for monitoring and regularly commenting the event from a safety and security point of view. Furthermore, he was involved in conducting seminars at the Institute for Security Studies in which both the SAPS and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) presented their safety and security plan for the 2010 football tournament.

As the police’s national spokesperson, Colonel Vishnu Naidoo speaks on behalf of the South African Police Service (SAPS) on issues relating to safety and security across the country. In the context of the 2010 FIFA World Cup he was the principal contact person regarding safety and security in the context of the sport mega-event and had travelled all around the world explaining South Africa’s readiness to host the World Cup. In addition, he was involved in the organisational planning team dedicated to safety and security around the football tournament.

Paki Mathebula and Rachel Peege both work in the branch of policy, research, monitoring and evaluation in the National Department of Tourism, which previously formed part of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT). Their responsibility lies with the governmental coordination of various issues relating to tourism such as transport, infrastructure as well as safety and security. As a result, they work together with the South African Police Service (SAPS) and other government departments whose actions have a direct or indirect impact on tourism in South Africa. This cooperation led to the inception of the National Tourism Safety and Awareness Strategy and to the Department being represented in the National Joint Operational Centre (NATJOC) that was set up prior to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In preparation for the 2010 football tournament, the former Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism published a pamphlet for foreign visitors with valuable safety tips and together with the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) and the SAPS it developed a safety handbook for tourism practitioners, professionals and traders in South Africa.

As the former Director General of the National Department of Sport and Recreation, Prof. Denver Hendricks not only has experience in developing and implementing safety and security measures for major sports events, but he was also involved in the country winning the bid to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Now he works at the University of Pretoria as the Director of Community Engagement. During the 2010 football tournament he was primarily in charge of coordinating the university’s involvement with respect to its close proximity to one of the 2010 host venues, Loftus Versfeld Stadium.

As the Global Product Manager at South African Tourism (SA Tourism), a parastatal and the official tourism marketing organisation of the country, Hanneli Slabber is involved with presenting and promoting South Africa as an international tourist destination. Her responsibility in the context of the 2010 FIFA World Cup included marketing the host country on the international stage together with the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and International Marketing Council (IMC). Moreover, she helped to support role-players in the tourism industry deal with the considerable influx of foreign arrivals during the staging of the 2010 World Cup tournament.

Herbert Mkhize is the Executive Director of the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC), a parastatal and statutory body serving as an intermediary between government, industry and the public sector on a national level. Cabinet ministers who wish to introduce, modify or amend any policy or law are required to present their suggestions to NEDLAC before going to the Parliament of South Africa. The institution has the power to change or reject any proposal if it deems it necessary. In the context of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, NEDLAC focussed especially on the economic legacy that this major event would leave behind.

5. Results

This chapter contains the results compiled from transcribing and examining the qualitative interviews. Several categories were formed to subdivide the findings.

5.1 Hosting a Major Event

5.1.1 South Africa’s Track Record

It is interesting to note that at one point or the other during the interview, most experts made references to past major events that were hosted in South Africa. Therefore, one should certainly take a closer look at the country’s track record of hosting events similar in scale and significance to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Since the end of apartheid and preceding the 2010 FIFA World Cup, South Africa has had the opportunity to play host to numerous events on an international scale. Some of the more large-scale events include the Rugby World Cup in 1995, the African Cup of Nations in 1996, the United Nations World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in 2001, the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 and the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2003 (see Table 7).

Table 7: Overview of Selected Major Events Hosted by South Africa

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However, the year preceding the 2010 World Cup tournament was probably one of the most eventful in the country’s history. In 2009, South Africa held its general elections and organised a presidential inauguration which was attended by numerous heads of state. On the sporting front, the nation hosted the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and was the venue of the 2009 British and Irish Lions Tour, which is an international rugby union tour held every four years. In addition to this and despite very short notice, the Republic agreed to host the 2009 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) due to security concerns associated with the general elections in India. Finally, the 2009 ICC Champions Trophy tournament was also moved to South Africa owing to security issues in Pakistan, which was originally meant to host the competition.

The successful carrying-out of past events played a paramount role in securing South Africa’s bid to host the 2010 World Cup tournament (Naidoo 2010). Especially with respect to safety and security, South Africa managed to surpass expectations in each one of the abovementioned cases. This was particularly apparent with the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg after which the United Nations decided to adopt the country’s security blueprint and apply it in all of its future international conferences. Naidoo attributes this success to the way in which South Africa is able to ‘develop strategies’ and keep watch over such events (Naidoo 2010). On the other hand, Burger emphasises that any strategies or police plans, however impressive they may appear, do not guarantee the safe and successful hosting of an event. Instead, it is much more about the ‘ability to implement’ a certain policy that will ensure an incident-free experience for both local residents and foreign visitors. With respect to the South African Police Service’s ability to put policing strategies into practice, there are certain ‘inefficiencies’ of which the country’s population is well aware. In spite of this, there are sufficient competent members in the service with the relevant experience and expertise to run large-scale operations and provide an adequate level of safety and security (Burger 2010).

South Africa can boast that during past major events, there has never been any ‘major catastrophe’ or serious incident of large numbers of foreign visitors falling victim to crime (Hendricks 2010). For instance, during the 2003 Cricket World Cup, which was a six-week tournament, the level of vehicle hijackings was no different to any other period. Furthermore, during these six weeks there were no reports of overseas travellers having been victims of vehicle theft or a car hijacking (Burger 2010).

All in all, it becomes clear that South Africa’s ‘fairly good’ track record of hosting large-scale events (Hendricks 2010), whether sport-related or not, might very well have played a role in bringing the 2010 FIFA World Cup to the country. With this tournament having been successfully staged, it is now worth taking a look at the effects that were associated with hosting a mega-event such as the 2010 World Cup tournament.

5.1.2 Effects Associated with the 2010 FIFA World Cup

The 2010 FIFA World Cup was eagerly awaited by South Africans not only for its predicted economic spin-offs, but certainly also for its ability to unite the nation and thrust South Africa onto the international stage - hopefully in a positive light. It will now be interesting to see what the experts have to say about the effects associated with hosting the world’s largest football tournament.

In terms of scale, investment and foreign attention, the 2010 FIFA World Cup was unquestionably the most significant sports event that South Africa had ever hosted. The number of foreign arrivals related to the event bears testimony to its sheer magnitude. While the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup saw the arrival of about 18,000 foreign guests, the 2010 FIFA World Cup, being the second biggest mega-event in the world after the Olympic Games, attracted far more than 300,000 visitors from abroad (Hendricks 2010).

One of the major positive spin-offs that immediatelyjumps to mind and that is also repeatedly referred to by the experts are the infrastructural improvements to the country, which would have taken a much longer period of time to accomplish if it had not been for the 2010 World Cup (Hendricks 2010). This infrastructural upgrading obviously did not only serve match-goers during the World Cup tournament, but also left a lasting legacy benefitting both South Africans and foreign visitors alike (Naidoo 2010). Apart from the extensive development of the freeways, South Africa saw a considerable expansion and revamping of its roads, railway lines, stadiums and hotels (Mathebula 2010, Naidoo 2010). The construction involved with the building and refurbishing of such amenities created various employment opportunities and paved the way for intensive job creation (Hendricks 2010). These positive developments in the labour market as well as the booming investment in the run-up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup contributed to South Africa being able to weather the economic storm of previous years. Mkhize explains that the World Cup and in particular the preparations for the event were a ‘blessing in disguise’ in the way they enabled South Africa to emerge from the global economic recession much less ‘bruised’ than most other nations, especially those in Europe such as Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal. However, besides mitigating the effects of the economic downturn, the 2010 tournament will have spurred a long-term economic impact and have further contributed to the country’s economic recovery (Mkhize 2010).

Another positive impact of the FIFA World Cup was the increased attention given to safety and security, which posed a particular challenge to the 2010 host nation. In light of the negative press and repercussions that an ‘unsafe’ World Cup tournament would have, South Africa needed to map out an efficient safety and security policy. Needless to say, a suspect security plan and an incident-ridden World Cup event would have had a detrimental impact on the favourable spin-offs associated with such a tournament such as attracting foreign visitors and reeling in further large-scale events (Mkhize 2010, Naidoo 2010, Peege 2010). Consequently, the South African government along with other policy-makers and role-players were mobilised to ensure that safety and security be dealt with appropriately. This also entailed working together with international and ‘strategic’ partners (Mkhize 2010).

With the international community keeping a watchful eye on the event, the 2010 FIFA World Cup also provided South Africa with the opportunity to present and market itself as an appealing tourist destination (Slabber 2010, Hendricks 2010). While the international media often portrays Africa in connection with civil wars, famine and poverty, the 2010 mega-event managed to show a more human and pleasant face of the continent and it lent South Africa an invaluable degree of advertisement and worldwide exposure that it would not have otherwise received. Moreover, the World Cup allowed foreign tourists and journalists that came to South Africa for the event to experience a side of the country that they perhaps did not expect or envisage.


[1] Fédération Internationale de Football Association.

[2] The ISS is a non-profit research institute funded by numerous governments and other sponsors.

[3] This value is a ‘high estimate’ provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The ‘low estimate’ value lies at 39.5 and was made available by the South African Police Service (SAPS).

[4] Incidence of crime per 100,000 of the population; category ‘contact crime’.

[5] Defined by Pierre Bourdieu as ‘the aggregate of the actual or potential resources which are linked to possession of a durable network of more or less institutionalised relationships of mutual acquaintance orrecognition’ (Bourdieu 1985: 248).

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With Batons and Vuvuzelas. To What Extent Can South Africa’s Safety and Security Policy for the 2010 FIFA World Cup Make a Sustainable Contribution to International Tourism to the Country?
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Andreas Mittag (Author), 2010, With Batons and Vuvuzelas. To What Extent Can South Africa’s Safety and Security Policy for the 2010 FIFA World Cup Make a Sustainable Contribution to International Tourism to the Country?, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/366648


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