The Department of Transport has revised down its target for new buses to be acquired, or leased, for the 2010 FIFA World Cup from the original 1 422 units, to around 1 000 buses.

“Our transport business plan estimates that we need approximately 1 000 buses, of which 570 would be operated by Autopax after the World Cup, subject to approval by the National Treasury,” says Transport Minister Jeff Radebe.

Autopax operates the Translux and City-to-City services, and has moved from the Transnet stable to now fall under the newly-formed Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).

Radebe does not want to divulge the value of the tender.

National government first put out a tender for the bus requirements for the 2010 event in May, 2008, which was to be awarded originally at the beginning of October last year. This then moved to January, 2009.

Indications were that funding was a problem for such a large acquisition, which could run into well over a billion rand.

Radebe now notes that the winning bidder(s) will now be announced within the next ten days.

The Department of Transport (DoT) last month signed two memorandums of understanding.

“The two MOUs commits my department to the Local Organizing Committee and Match, that indeed we will be able to provide the Intercity buses and the fleet of coaches for the 2010 FIFA World Cup,” says Radebe.

DoT and PRASA have committed 50 semi-luxury buses to the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organizing Committee.

They have also committed 420 semi-luxury and Intercity buses to Match.

Match is the company appointed to provide ticketing, accommodation and event information technology services to FIFA for the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009, and the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

In addition, Prasa will provide another 110 buses for general spectator services to facilitate the movement for general and local spectators.

The local bus manufacturing industry last year expressed its concern that government had to speed up the bus procurement process, in order to ensure most of these buses could be manufactured locally, and not be imported.

PUBLICATION: Engineering News
AUTHOR: Irma Venter
DATED: 17th April 2009