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SWC to 'leave transport legacy'

2010-04-20 20:01

Johannesburg - The forthcoming FIFA World Cup will leave a lasting transport legacy far beyond 2010, Minister of Transport Sibusiso Ndebele said on Tuesday.

"We have constantly emphasised that the FIFA World Cup is not only about sport - it's also about transport," the minister told a media briefing at OR Tambo International Airport on the state of integrated transport readiness for the World Cup.

"With 51 days to go we will put our best forward to ensure that all those who use our transport services are able to do so effectively and efficiently."

Ndebele said the opening earlier on Tuesday of the new terminal at OR Tambo International Airport by President Jacob Zuma highlighted the country's world-class airport infrastructure.

The terminal precinct at Cape Town International Airport had also undergone "a complete transformation".

On the road

Turning to road transport, the minister said his department would have in place an inter-provincial and regional transport system operated by the recently appointed Operating Managing Entity (OME).

"The OME will facilitate the efficient and safe transport of general spectators to and from matches."

A major component of the entity would be 110 newly acquired 79-seater inter-city buses, specially procured by the government for the World Cup.

A first-class national integrated transport system using the newly acquired Auto Pax coach fleet integrated with the taxi industry had been created.

"This will ensure safe, comfortable and well-maintained long-distance vehicles," Ndebele said.

The Passenger Rail Agency of SA was using the event as a springboard to upgrade rail infrastructure, he added.