2010 transport project well under way - Min Radebe

By Luyanda Makapela

Johannesburg - With only 759 days left before the 2010 FIFA World Cup kick off, Transport Minister Jeff Radebe has assured the world that transport projects across all host cities in South Africa are on their way to being completed.

The minister conducted several inspections on transport projects on Tuesday, visiting construction sites around Johannesburg.

Mr Radebe said the department was determined to transform the public transport system in the country and to meet FIFA's requirements for holding a successful world cup.

"These projects will leave a significant and lasting legacy in providing direct access to the Nasrec sports centre," the minister said.

The construction being done Soweto will also provide much needed northern ramps to the N1 freeway while improving access between Soweto and areas such as Randburg and Sandton.

The inspections started early on Tuesday morning at the N17 Nasrec Link which is seen as a strategic project linking Soccer stadium and Orlando stadium - two venues for world cup matches.

The N17 Nasrec Link has now been under construction for seven months and will take up to 27 months to complete at a cost of R426 million. The project is set to create about 300 jobs.

Other projects visited by Mr Radebe include the construction of Doornfontein Train station, at the stations at Ellis Park and Joburg Park.

The Bus Rapid Transit, to be known as Rea Vaya, on the other hand, will provide much needed transport access to Nasrec and Ellis Park by transporting large volumes of fans during the world cup, said the minister.

Local Organising Committee Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Danny Jordan, who took part in the inspections commended the department for the work it has done in preparation of the world cup.

"We are happy with Minister Radebe for speeding up transport plans for 2010, this means that we are still right on track and ready for the world cup," he said.

City of Johannesburg Mayor Amos Masondo said the city had approved a station model to be unveiled soon.

This has been done through public participation and in partnership with the taxi industry.

"The city has formed a Mayoral Bus Rapid System Steering Committee which includes the representatives from the taxi industry, bus associations and Johannesburg Regional Taxi Association as we all strive to deliver our world cup commitments on time, within budget without compromising quality," said Mr Masondo.