Pietermaritzburg – The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government is to use Transport Month as a platform to create a lasting infrast ructure legacy well beyond the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

According to the provincial Department of Transport, activities during the month of October will be used as a dry-run to showcase transport infrastructure readiness in preparation for the world cup.

MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Bheki Cele said South Africa’s transports system was going through a revolution, adding that the transport systems should be able to sustain the country’s economy.

He said the investments that were being made in transport services and infrastructure should benefit the rest of the province and the country.

Transport Month is a government initiative aimed at creating awareness in matters of road safety, promoting the usage of public transport and fast tracking the infrastructure development particularly in rural areas.

According to a National Household Travel Survey (NHTS), one of the shortcomings in the transport systems in South Africa is that more than 38 million citizens live in households with no access to cars.

It also revealed that an estimated 14 million learners walk to schools and more than 13.7 million citizens use public transport at least once a week.

The survey also concluded that more than seven million workers and learners use public transport, while seven million citizens use cars.

MEC Cele said these figures reflect that as government they needed to do more work to ensure that transport infrastructure and services serve and address the challenges that people face.

According to the department there will be various activities in the province to celebrate the month of October, which include Operation Kushunquthuli, Asiphephe Campaign and the launch of Public Transport Facilities.

“We are strengthening our commitment to bring hope to those communities most in need so that they too can have just cause to celebrate a better life for all,” said Mr Cele.

AUTHOR: Siboniso Ntuli
DATED: 8th October 2008