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December 02, 2009

Cape Town and South Africa ready to transport 2010 World Cup visitors

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Construction work underway for the IRT system on Otto du Plessis Drive in Milnerton. Photo courtesy Warren Rohner

The City of Cape Town and Minister of Transport S’bu Ndebele are confident that the transportation system in South Africa will work well for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

To fill the stadiums with fans at every match, transportation needs to be in top form.

Cape Town is co-ordinating a public transport system that includes metered taxis, car rentals, and tourism and charter services. It also caters for commuters with special needs.

The city has its own Integrated Rapid Transit (IRT) system, a bus service that offers visitors and residents an easier way of travelling in and around the city centre, and to Table View, Hout Bay and the airport.

According to a November 30 news item on the travel trade publication Southern African Tourism Update Online, Ndebele recently told the UK media: “A match between 22 players, officiated by a referee and his assistants, is only a practice match if there are no fans in the stadium. It is the responsibility of transport to ensure that a dull match played to an empty stadium becomes a place of excitement because tens of thousands of fans have been transported to the stadium. It is our responsibility to fill those stadiums by providing the convenience of transport.”

The Department of Transport’s 2010 Transport Action Plan involves speeding up transport plans, adding infrastructure, improving the public transport system, promoting use of the system and applying development policies that are economically sustainable.

This will happen through rail upgrades, central city mobility co-ordination, investment in road infrastructure, the Bus Rapid Transit systems, intelligent transport systems and airport-city links.

Ndebele wants transportation to run as smoothly as possible, from the time visitors arrive in South Africa to when they safely arrive at the matches on time. “Moving visitors across the country will be offered by taxis, buses, passenger rail, luxury coaches, tour packages, private car-hire companies and domestic aviation. South Africa will temporarily increase its operational capacity for distance travel – primarily by making available additional vehicles and improving operational efficiencies.”

He added: “Rail will serve as the backbone of our transport system during the World Cup; we have committed that by 2010 there will be a train available every five minutes in peak times and train services between 14 and 16 hours a day.”

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