South Africa has the capacity to transport visitors during the Fifa World Cup even if the controversial Bus Rapid Transport System is not ready by then, according to the Department of Transport.

The department’s director-general, Mpumi Mpofu, told Parliament’s portfolio committee on transport yesterday that SA would still be able to transport everyone involved in the World Cup, as prescribed by Fifa, even if the BRT systems were not ready.

“We are not bound by modes and types of intervention, we are bound by meeting the targets – the most critical is moving people between games,” Mpofu said.

“Fifa is very clear – we have to move people from point A to point B. Whatever the method is entirely up to South Africa,” she said, adding that taxis had coped well with transporting people during the Confederations Cup.

South African National Taxi Council president Arthur Mthembu said he welcomed the government’s decision to separate BRT from the 2010 World Cup.

“Whatever was started before did not work. If we have to join the government in their own programme then there will be problems, but if the government is negotiating with the industry then there can be progress.”

AUTHOR: Anna Majavu
DATED: 6th August 2009