Government is hopeful that SA’s airports infrastructure would be ready to handle thousands of air travel passengers by the time 2010 Fifa World Cup starts, Transport Minister Jeff Radebe said.

The question as to whether or not South Africa will be ready for the World Cup “has been answered to some extent through new stadiums that are being built and investment in transport infrastructure”, Radebe said during the annual results presentation of the local airports operator – Airports Company South Africa (ACSA).

He said that he was hopeful that ACSA’s 1.7 billion rand capital expenditure package for smaller airports would help expand their passenger handling capacity.

The current airports capacity would not be enough to handle thousands of people in 2010 – “we need to provide infrastructure”, Radebe said.

The Minister said that smaller airports across the country were showing terrific passenger growth with others already running above their handling capacity.

East London airport passengers traffic grew 16.3% to 698,000 last year, Port Elizabeth grew 10% to 1.4 million, Kimberley grew 25% to 132,000 and Bloemfontein grew 42% to 464,000 – way above its terminal capacity which handle’s 360,000 passengers, Radebe said.

AUTHOR: Tiisetso Motsoeneng
DATED: 3rd September 2007