End in sight for 2010 projects

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cape Town - Government is making steady progress in the completion of 2010 FIFA World Cup transport and infrastructure projects in host cities, says Minister of Transport Sibusiso Ndebele.

Minister of Transport Sibusiso Ndebele listed a number of road, bus and taxi rank projects that were nearing completion in a written answer to a parliamentary question raised in the National Assembly on what progress had been made around infrastructure projects for the event.

In Polokwane a number of projects had been completed, including the upgrading of the bus terminus, the widening and extension of a number of streets and the completion of a study to develop an intelligent transport system.

Construction on a transport hub, the Seshego Park and Ride project, bus depot, fan park are all expected to be completed by the end of this month.

Ndebele said a project to install a closed-circuit television (CCTV) network in the centre of Polokwane, which started on 30 March 2009 and is expected to be completed on 20 April 2010, was 70 percent complete.

In Nelspruit, work around the construction of the Mataffin Precinct Road access system and the Mataffin Public Transport Rank and Stadium Precinct Boulevard was 60 percent complete.

The construction started on 1 August last year and is expected to be completed on 15 March 2010.

In Port Elizabeth lanes for a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system along the Govan Mbeki Avenue were 70 percent complete and were expected to be completed at the end of January, while other BRT lanes in the city would be completed by the end of February.

The widening and improvement of Parfitt Avenue and Nelson Mandela Intersection in Bloemfontein is still under way.

In Durban, a public transport call centre is being set up. Phase two of the project, which covers three areas of focus of enquiries, complaints and infrastructure and touch screens and kiosks, is 95 percent complete.

Ndebele said the only challenge, given the current Durban transport issues, would be the exact date to go live with the project.

The realignment of Walter Gilbert Street as the stadium access route as well as pedestrian routes, a bus rotunda, parking and the stadium entrance, was 68 percent complete, he said.

The department is further planning to upgrade the temporary park and ride facilities that were used during the Confederations Cup in Rustenburg. This project is expected to begin without further delays so that it can be used during the World Cup.

In Pretoria, a number of intersections are being upgraded and roads widened and rehabilitated.

A lot of work has been taking place in Johannesburg, which will host the opening and closing World Cup matches.

While some sections ate already complete and in operation, a BRT section from Regina Mundi to Modderspruit Culvert is 99 percent complete, while the 3.9km section between Main Reef Road Commando to Portland Perth is planned for completion by the end of May.

Sections along Oxford/Rivonia Road from Victoria Avenue in Parktown to West Street as well as along Rivonia Road from West Street in Sandton to Sunninghill are planned to be completed by April.

Construction on the BRT section from Alexandra to Sandton as well as the section between Randburg and Sandton, as well as Jabulani to Orlando have not yet started, but is due for completion in May.

A park and ride upgrade was completed last year in October, on time, while a project to improve road signage is now 95% complete.

The construction of pedestrian walkways at three 2010 World Cup Training Venues - Orlando, Rand and Dobsonville stadia - as well as the upgrade of the Bezuidenhout Valley Park and Ride Facility, is now complete.

In Cape Town an upgrade of Hospital Bend on the N2/M3 is 84% complete, while road works on the N2 to the airport are due to be completed by March.

Ndebele added that a BRT system on the Klipfontein Corridor is planned for completion in February, while a project to acquire special buses for use during 2010, which will remain in the city after the event, is 60 percent complete.

During a trip to England last month, Ndebele said South Africa's transport sector was ready.

He said it was the responsibility of the department to deliver fans, media, players and officials in luxury, comfort and safety from the airport to the hotel, the hotel to the stadium and back.

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