Transport Minister uses public transport to Confeds Cup

By Gabi Khumalo

Pretoria - Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele is expected to use public transport to get to Ellis Park for the opening of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.

Bafana Bafana will take on Iraq at 4pm.

Departmental spokesperson, Logan Maistry, said the minister had decided to use public facilities to show soccer fans that the transport system that had been put in place was efficient.

"He wanted to show the public how the transport system works and ensure them that it's safe to use," Mr Maistry told BuaNews.

The minister also wanted to encourage soccer fans to have confidence in the country's transport system.

Mr Ndebele boarded a train from Pretoria Station and was expected to arrive at the Kempton Park Station at 1pm, where he would depart by Gauride Taxi to Dries Niemand Park and Ride and then for Ellis Park Stadium.

More than 3 000 minibus taxis and 450 buses, branded with a GauRide logo, will be made available to transport soccer fans to stadia across Gauteng during the FIFA Confederations Cup.

The GauRide vehicles, which will be complemented by the recently launched iTransie 2 Ellispark! Service, will also ensure that all spectators can travel safely to the Confederations Cup games.

Both iTransie 2 Ellis Park! and GauRide are run in partnership with the taxi industry.

Central to the hosting of the tournament will be the effectiveness and efficiency of the system to transport thousands of soccer supporters to the match venues.

iTransie 2 Ellis Park! was launched by the City of Joburg two weeks ago to provide efficient transport services to soccer fans attending the games at Ellis Park Stadium.

The iTransie 2 Ellis Park! Service will demonstrate the city's ability to provide effective transport for world-class events and prove its readiness for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and ensure that all spectators can travel safely to the Confederations Cup games at Ellis Park.

Gates at Ellis Park have been opened with thousands of people currently making their way inside. The opening ceremony is expected to start in an hour's time.

The Confederations Cup, which is seen as the dress rehearsal for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, will be held from 14 to 28 June 2009 in four host cities, namely Pretoria, Johannesburg, Bloemfontein and Rustenburg. - BuaNews