16 May 2013
Stadium Management South Africa (SMSA) held a meeting with stakeholders at its offices yesterday afternoon to tackle traffic management problems encountered during major events at its stadia. Representatives from the City of Johannesburg, Premier Soccer League (PSL), Orlando Pirates Football Club (OPFC), Emergency Services, Metro Police, SAPS and SMSA discussed problematic areas or areas of concern voiced by patrons at recent football matches and concerts. The purpose of the meeting was to address traffic management problems in particular, to identify solutions and to roll out these resolutions at future events.
Jacques Grobbelaar, SMSA CEO and Chairman, is extremely unhappy that concertgoers and football fans have had unpleasant experiences at the Stadiums under his management. “We pride ourselves on delivering exceptional services and offerings at our stadiums, which are recognized globally, especially after we successfully hosted 2010 FIFA World Cup matches, the 2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations opening and closing ceremonies and matches as well as the biggest global superstars who performed in front of sold out audiences. It is very disconcerting that our patrons have had less than satisfactory experiences at our stadiums, which has made us much more determined to resolve existing problems. We are also taking a proactive approach by identifying areas that could be improved upon to ensure that any person, local or foreign, visiting our stadium will have a safe, enjoyable and hassle free experience.”
In conjunction with its stakeholders, SMSA intends to eliminate illegal car guards at Stadium events, to limit the number of parking tickets sold, improve safety and security in the Stadium Precinct, upgrade the pedestrian bridge at Shareworld Parking and have dedicated Park and Ride lanes on event or match days. SMSA will engage JMPD further with regards to the submission of traffic flow plans and traffic free zones, road closures and to improving the effectiveness of road closure equipment. As part of the enhanced service offerings on event days, SMSA will ensure that there is adequate signage at offramps, an improvement in rail services and communication and work with the City of Johannesburg and the Johannesburg Roads Authority (JRA) to make Park and Ride facilities available for football matches. SMSA will also be working closely with Provincial Traffic Enforcement authorities, SAPS and private security companies to improve the quality and standards of effective safety and security at the Stadium.
Grobbelaar added, “It is unacceptable that our patrons have been subjected to ineffective, uncooperative or poorly trained security personnel because the safety and security of our patrons is of utmost importance to SMSA. Our objective is to ensure that we have highly skilled, trained and helpful security and safety personnel onsite who are able to contribute to a safe and enjoyable experience for the tens of thousands of fans who pass through our turnstiles at concerts and sports fixtures going forward.”
Grobbelaar said SMSA would do everything in its power to improve safety, security, traffic management and parking at its stadia. “We will take all steps necessary to eliminate the problems we are currently facing which will result in improvements across the board.”