Stadium operator Sail/Stade de France and the City of Cape Town say they will go back to the drawing board to devise a comprehensive traffic management plan for the third World Cup test event next month.
Clayton Barnes – Cape Argus
This comes after traffic ground to a halt around the Cape Town Stadium precinct on Saturday, causing thousands of spectators to miss the curtain-raiser match between the SA Legends and the International 10s.
The match was followed by the main game between the Vodacom Stormers and Boland.
Motorists with tickets for VIP parking waited up to an hour to get into the main parkade because sniffer dogs checked every vehicle entering the stadium precinct for explosives and narcotics.
“This is a joke,” said one spectator. “It takes each car 50 minutes to get in and we are only 40 000 spectators. What about 68 000 for the World Cup?”
Sail/Stade de France executive director Morne du Plessis said a comprehensive traffic management plan would be crucial for the next test event, a religious gathering of about 60 000 people on March 22.
“Traffic was the biggest challenge,” he said. “The European seating arrangement (a particular method of seat numbering) is also a bit complicated, but people will get used to it.”
Four people were arrested for being drunk during Saturday’s events.
Three City of Cape Town units were involved in the policing operation.
The metro police arrested one person for driving under the influence of alcohol and issued 20 traffic fines amounting to R5 300.
A 27-year-old man was also fined R200 in terms of a city by-law for allegedly setting off a firecracker in the stadium after the match.
The city’s traffic services arrested one person for reckless and negligent driving and issued 97 traffic and parking fines.
The city’s law enforcement unit issued 63 fines totalling R46 750 for parking offences and illegal trading.
It also confiscated goods worth R50 000 from illegal traders.
Two warnings were issued for contravening city by-laws.
Stadium paramedics were also kept busy.
A man in his mid-60s collapsed and died after suffering complete cardiac arrest soon after entering the stadium, while another spectator was treated for chest pains at the stadium medical centre.
Dr Wayne Smith, head of the stadium’s 2010 medical emergency team, said several attempts to resuscitate the man at the stadium failed.
He was then taken to the nearby Somerset Hospital, where he was declared dead.
A total of 17 other patients were treated for minor injuries and pains, said Smith.
“Seventeen patients is nothing unusual for an event of this magnitude,” he said.
Police spokesman Billy Jones said no other incidents were reported.
Of the firecracker incident, Jones said: “We will look at what else we can do to search people for such small items that could potentially cause serious damage or injury.”
The Vodacom Stormers beat Boland 47-13.
Match referee Mark Lawrence described Cape Town Stadium as one of the most beautiful in the world, with a “superb pitch”.
Proud Stormers supporter Clive le Roux said after the match: “This sets the tone for the season which is about to start.
“I’m glad I got to see them in this stadium and hope more games will be played here.”
Another said: “I’m so glad there wasn’t a vuvuzela in sight. Just flags, singing and Mexican waves. I loved it.”
The third test event will be followed by the final test for a capacity (68 000) crowd before April 1.
Pieter Cronje, the city’s 2010 spokesman, thanked the spectators for their tolerance and patience.
He said the stadium’s noise had been “excellently contained” for both test events.
About 9 000 spectators used the shuttle service from Hertzog Boulevard to the stadium.