Johannesburg – South Africa will invest 170 billion rand ($15.96 billion) in transport for an estimated 450,000 visitors during the 2010 World Cup, Transport Minister Jeff Radebe said on Sunday.

Radebe told a news conference the amount included funds for airport and roads upgrades and the creation of new rail and bus systems. He also said the money would ensure a major overhaul of the country’s transport system, leaving a legacy after the tournament.

“We are driven by a desire to make sure that South Africa becomes a destination of choice for tourists and business. The World Cup in 2010 is a catalyst for the development of our system because we need to meet FIFA requirements,” Radebe said.

“But the huge sum of money we are investigating will also ensure a lasting legacy for our people.”

Radebe said 13.6 billion rand from the overall budget had been allocated to cities hosting World Cup matches. South Africa has 10 venues for the 2010 finals in nine cities.

An integrated ticketing system for visitors is to be introduced for World Cup in several types of transport, including rail, buses and mini-bus taxi services.

Radebe said the number of railway police would increase from 1,400 to 5,000 by 2010 and other security measure introduced for the safety of visitors. (Editing by John Mehaffey)

AUTHOR: Mark Gleeson
DATED: 23rd November 2008