'Guards' Strikes Will Not Jeopardise World Cup Security'

Pretoria, June 16 (IANS) Strikes by security guards will not jeopardise security arrangements at the stadia hosting soccer World Cup matches, the South African government has said.

"The cabinet would like to assure fans that their safety is guaranteed. Police will be ready to take charge of security if any strike takes place, like we saw in Cape Town," government spokesperson Themba Maseko said after a cabinet meeting Tuesday.

The assurance comes after security guards threatened to down tools at various stadia following a strike by guards at Cape Town's Green Point Stadium Monday and Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium Sunday.

The demonstrators were demanding that the football world cup governing body FIFA upgrade their pay. The protest also delayed the start of Monday's match between defending champions Italy and Paraguay in Cape Town.

Maseko said the matter was just a labour issue between an employer and an employee and would not jeopardise security arrangements for the tournament.

"As we have seen in Cape Town, the police took charge of the security and will be ready to do so any time," Maseko said, adding that the government had been "extremely" satisfied with the way the World Cup is progressing.

"We think that fans have come out in their numbers and the matches themselves have been outstanding," BuaNews quoted Maseko as saying.


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