The South African Department of Transport has given the thumbs up for the transport infrastructure development in the host cities for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. This follows concerns raised about the pace of building transport infrastructure in some of the host cities. Port Elizabeth’s progress with their transport plans were under the spotlight today.

The backbone of the city’s transport plan is an integrated service between buses and taxis with an element of rail transport. The construction of the Bus Rapid Transit lanes is already underway. The Central Business District’s taxi rank will also make way for a bus station and a sub-terrainean bus terminal. Similar developments are also taking place at Rustenburg, Nelspruit, and Polokwane.

Director General in the Department of Transport, Mpumi Mpofu, says they are hastening to facilitate and ensure that host cities and provinces start to move into the area of operational planning and no longer infrastructure development. She says this is the goal for this year, that all implementation of infrastructure should have started.

Arterial road upgrades in the Eastern Cape are also in full swing with the provincial government also giving special attention to the N2 highway. MEC for Roads and Transport, Gloria Barry says the N2 is a feeder system because the metro can only accommodate 50% of the accommodation while the other 50% is outside of the metro.

Meanwhile, construction of the stadium in Port Elizabeth is on schedule. The first of the roof girders is expected to go up by the end of the week.

DATED: 16th October 2008