The 2010 FIFA World Cup will serve as a catalyst to accelerate public transport improvements that would otherwise only have been rolled out in the medium to long term, Minister of Transport Jeff Radebe commented in a 2010 Transport Project Inspection programme, undertaken in May last month.
The transport improvements, however, would serve to meet the FIFA requirements for the execution of a successful 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, assured Radebe.
The minister announced that the Department of Transportâ€™s projects, which will be showcased in its Transport Project Inspection initiative, is also designed to fundamentally transform the public transport system in South Africa in line with Cabinetâ€™s approved Public Transport Strategy and Action Plan.
Government plans to invest over R160-billion in the transportation system as part of the R400-billion infrastructure investment programme over the medium term.
The current transport projects under way include the Nasrec link, a strategic project that links two key 2010 venues, namely Soccer City stadium, in Nasrec, Johannesburg, the venue for the opening and final matches of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, with Orlando stadium, in Soweto, which will be used as a training venue for the Confederations Cup and the 2010 World Cup.
â€œThe project will leave a significant and lasting legacy in providing direct and rapid access to the Nasrec sports precinct. It will also transform Soweto by providing the much-needed northern ramps to the N1 freeway, improv- ing access between Soweto and areas such as Randburg and Sandton,â€ said Radebe.
He said that the Nasrec link, costing R420-million, is structured to provide 20% targeted participation to targeted contractors.
The project, which is expected to create 230 jobs, is scheduled for completion in December 2009.
The project forms part of the strategic investment by government into the different modes of transport, and forms part of the R160-billion public transport investment by government.
â€œThis investment is strategically spread across the various modes of transport, and in the intermodal interfaces between the nodes with the intention of modernising the transportation system, improving safety and ensuring rapid and seamless mobility of people and goods,â€ said Radebe.
The road system is receiving over R70-billion worth of invest- ment, airports are receiving R19-billion and commuter rail is being allocated R16-billion, while specific interventions for the 2010 World Cup event have been allocated a total of R13,6-billion.
The R2-billion Bus Rapid-Tran- sit (BRT) system is another transport initiative adopted by government to improve the much-needed access to the Nasrec and Ellis Park precincts, and will be able to transport large volumes of fans for the 2010 World Cup on match or event days, said Radebe.
â€œThe design of this system ensures dedicated bus mobility in specially designed routes, with designated stops at key mobility points across the city. Major nodes such as Lenasia, Soweto, Nasrec, Johannesburg central business district (CBD), Ellis Park, Rosebank and Sandton, will allow the deployment of feeder systems and the incorporation of existing commuter operators in an integrated rapid-transit system,â€ explained Radebe.
He added that the system will enable the mass transportation of commuters from the southern and eastern parts of Johannesburg, linking these with major economic centres in the CBD and the northern suburbs of Johannesburg.
Phase 1 of the system will create 51 000 job opportunities and establish 40 km of the BRT system ahead of FIFAâ€™s Confederations Cup, to be staged in 2009.
â€œWhen completed, the full scheme will contribute to reducing the traffic in the Johannesburg area, as well as save carbon dioxide emissions, which is in line with our efforts at contributing towards the reduction of global warming,â€ said Radebe.
The staging of the 2010 event being an imminent reality for South Africa, Radebe announced that it is imperative to take time to scrutinise the progress being made and communicate these developments to the world, in order to spread the sense of excitement associated with the staging of an event of this magnitude in South Africa.
PUBLICATION: Engineering News
AUTHOR: Sylvester Haskins
DATED: 20th June 2008