24 May 2010
South Africa’s transport plans for the 2010 Fifa World Cup™ are shaping up, the latest development being the appointment of a service provider to procure, operate and manage spectator transport for the mega-event.
The Department of Transport has appointed the ESC & The African Experience consortium to manage inter-provincial and regional road transport services for both commuter buses and minibus taxis for spectators during the month-long tournament.
Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said he was confident that they would provide a professional service for spectators, as they already operate in the tourism industry.
“The taxi industry is to provide a fleet of over 400 mid-buses to ferry spectators around the country, while 110 commuter buses from Autopax will complement these services,” Ndebele said.
Fleet usage will be dependent on demand that is generated for the service and ticket sales. Inland and coastal services will also be on offer. The fleet of taxis and buses will be additional to existing transport services in the country.
There will be a service between Pretoria, OR Tambo International Airport and Johannesburg, as well as Rustenburg, Polokwane, Mbombela and Bloemfontein.
On the coast there will be a service from Knysna to Cape Town via Wilderness, George, Mossel Bay and back. There will also be a service from Mossel Bay to Port Elizabeth via George and Wilderness and back.
From East London, spectators will be able to travel to Port Elizabeth via King William’s Town and Grahamstown and back.
Further up the coast, services will run between Richards Bay and Durban, the Wild Coast Sun and Durban, and between Pietermaritzburg and Durban.
Prices will range from R140 to R300 for a one-way trip. The operational plan and final contract have been finalised for coaches and taxis, said the department.
Taxi council support
Meanwhile, the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) is working closely with the consortium to provide a countrywide Minibus solution for spectators.
Operational staff will be clearly identifiable through coded arm bands and other branded clothing. “It is not just about sport, it is now truly about transport,” said Ndebele.