A command centre located in Gauteng would be set up to handle transport during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, making it easy for people from areas across the country to reach the various stadia.
In a pre-budget briefing yesterday, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndlebele said the command centre would facilitate the dedicated transport services during the World Cup, the state BuaNews agency reports.
“The command centre would for example ensure that fans from Mthatha would be able to get to the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth. It would coordinate the different transport services,” the agency says. This includes the 418 train sets, 420 buses allocated to Match, 200 buses for the FIFA family – soccer teams and key sponsors – and 360 buses for general spectators in addition to the 1100 in operation. While 800 midi-buses will be managed by recently appointed Operating Management Entity, additional aircraft would also be leased during the event.
Ndebele said Durban’s new R6.7 billion King Shaka International Airport would come into operation from 1 May. A report for the land use options for the current Durban International Airport, which will cease operations at the end of this month, is being finalised by a task team consisting of the department, Airports Company SA (Acsa), the KwaZulu-Natal government and the eThekwini Municipality.
The department had mooted the idea of a high speed rapid rail link between Durban and Gauteng and the proposal would go before the Cabinet later this year, said Ndebele.
He believed the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO), which came into operation in Johannesburg and Tshwane on 1 April, would help relieve the overburdened court system. “The current traffic law enforcement system is not effective, and if we want to stop counting bodies every year, we have to change it,” said Ndebele. “Drivers simply ignore paying traffic fines and do not even bother to go to court because they know that nothing will happen to them, since their cases are not prioritised and, in many instances, withdrawn,” he said, adding that AARTO would be rolled out to the rest of the country by March next year.
About 15 000 South Africans die on the country’s roads every year, costing the nation untold billions in actual and opportunity expenses.