DURBAN - The Durban ICC was a hive of activity  as the city, the country and the continent gear up to welcome global delegates to the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa.

One hundred free-standing pots containing aloes and grasses were being wheeled into place, an attractive green plant display was being assembled at the entrance, and carpenters and technicians were busy at work around the various areas of the award-winning venue, getting everything ready for the big global gathering which starts on Wednesday.

Durban businesswoman Tebogo Petlele also arrived to deliver her “Seponono Africa” company’s colourful headwraps to the WEF hostesses and staff, who will sport them during the three-day event.

Petlele is a WEF Durban global shaper, part of a network of young local people “who are exceptional in their potential, in their achievements and who are driven to make a contribution in their communities”, the WEF said.

Meanwhile, as global leaders, including heads of state, gather for the event, the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (Natjoints), which includes the SAPS, has put measures in place to ensure WEF Africa will take place in a safe and secure environment.

With a history of successfully delivering secure major international events, “law-enforcement agencies with other key stakeholders, will continue to be meticulous in the implementation of the security plan”, a Natjoints statement said yesterday.

“There will be uncompromising security, and any criminal or disruptive conduct will result in appropriate action being taken, including arrest and prosecution,” the statement said.

While the right to protest was respected, any authorised protest action had to be conducted in a peaceful and responsible manner, at the designated area and within the confines of the law.

There would be road closures, particularly around the ICC, and motorists should plan alternative routes to avoid frustration, the statement said, adding that security planning had made provision for minimal disruption.

Daily News