South Africa have promised to fix their transport problems ahead of next year’s World Cup.

Transport is considered one of the major concerns ahead of next year’s World Cup finals in South Africa.

FIFA highlighted transport as a major issue after June’s Confederations Cup as there were difficulties getting fans away from stadiums after matches in the eight-nation tournament.

FIFA also noted that there is a lack of accommodation and security in South Africa, issues to be solved in the next 12 months.

According to a BBC report, Minibus taxi operators, who are the mainstay of the transport network for working class South Africans, have blocked roads in protests against a new mass bus service for the World Cup, fearing it will cut their business.

“We have now entered a phase that is not going to be characterised by conflict, we are now in the post-conflict phase with the taxi industry,” transport minister Sibusiso Ndabele told the country’s parliament during a budget speech.

He said the government would encourage the minibus industry to cooperate with bus and rail transport systems. Besides sorting out the troubled taxi and bus sectors, South Africa will invest some $3.18 billion over the next three years to upgrade the rail passenger service, Ndabele said.

He said Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) have set aside $2.5bn to improve airport infrastructure in anticipation of the expected increase in passengers during 2010.

“At present ACSA handles more than 32 million passengers annually. The number will be 43m in year 2010 and will continue to grow,” Ndabele said.

AUTHOR: Odindo Ayieko
DATED: 6th July 2009