South Africans will have a transport network they can be proud of in time for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and beyond, Transport Minister Jeff Radebe has announced.
Briefing the media on the department's readiness ahead of 2010, Mr Radebe said the world cup was a catalyst for the faster development of the public transport system that would benefit commuters and the economy in the years following the event.
The department is currently spending a total of R13.6 billion in improving the transport infrastructure.
"We are making major investments across all transport systems-buses, passenger rail, taxis, road networks and the aviation industry," said Mr Radebe on Wednesday, adding that this would see an acceleration of the existing transport plan.
"We are committed to ensuring a safe, secure, efficient and accessible transport system for South Africans beyond 2010," said Mr Radebe.
In order to ensure that all the provinces and host cities deliver in time for the event, the department has established a monitoring committee to keep an eye on all initiatives.
"If there are problems, we will put measures in place to accelerate implementation.
"A monitoring and evaluation system is in place with a panel of experts from the different transport networks," he said.
An action plan has also been developed in consultation with the transport sector. The plan integrates transport, security, emergency response and socio-economic development.
It also provides guidelines to authorities involved in transport, tourism, border control, aviation and economic development.
Since 2004, the department has engaged in consultation and strategic planning to meet the transport demands of the world cup.
This year will see dry runs and the fine-tuning of transport systems until the world cup kicks off in June 2010.
The country's estimated 100 000 taxi and bus operators are also to undergo retraining before being allowed to ferry the numerous tourists expected to arrive in South Africa for the tournament.
The training will be aimed at improving driving skills, consumer care, handling of passengers with disabilities and general tourism information.
It is expected to have been completed a year before the tournament.
The operators are to also receive accreditation for their vehicles. These requirements will include vehicle spacing, licensing, insurance, compliance with the South African Revenue Services and basic employment benefits for operators.
Meanwhile recent reports suggesting investors were holding off in fear of South Africa's ability to stage a successful world cup, were dismissed by Chief Executive Office of the 2010 Local Organising Committee, Danny Jordaan.
Mr Jordaan, his German counterpart Horst Schmidt and officials of the City of Cape Town visited the Green Point Stadium on Wednesday, where he expressed satisfaction with the pace of the construction at the Green Point Stadium. - BuaNews
Compiled by the Government Communication and Information System