23 October 2006
The South African government has set aside R3.8-billion for public transport infrastructure for the 2010 Soccer World Cup, says Transport Minister Jeff Radebe.
Addressing the Transport Indaba in Soweto, Johannesburg on Sunday, Radebe said a 2010 transport action agenda had been developed and that the World Cup Public Transport Infrastructure and Systems Fund had allocated the first round of funding to the country’s municipalities.
“The success of this event is dependent mainly on our ability to provide world-class infrastructure and systems that will be enjoyed by all South Africans well beyond 2010,” Radebe said.
However, he added that an additional R5-billion per annum was needed to address the current decline in service levels and to implement the government’s transport strategy over the next 10 to 15 years.
“Our transport plan will ensure efficient and safe transportation for all visitors, but most importantly it will ensure sufficient air, road and rail transport operators and infrastructure to accommodate the event,” he said.
Radebe said the government’s public transport strategy aimed to achieve a sustainable rapid mass public transport system “that is able to meet the needs of current and new users and is able to deliver functioning intermodal systems.
The Department of Transport aims to work with existing transport operators and existing road and rail infrastructure in order to re-organise and upgrade operations into a high-quality integrated network.
This will give existing semi-formal operators and their workforce a stake in the new rapid mass transit network, and ensure both improved revenues for operators and better service delivery for users.
Radebe said the emphasis would be on “transforming the semi-formal operators into an integrated system that is planned and well managed by the public sector while being operated by the existing private operators.”