Soccer fans to use semi-luxury, inter-city buses in 2010

Tuesday, March 31, 2009
By: 
Chris Bathembu

Pretoria - Scores of soccer supporters who will descend on South Africa during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and locals alike, will have the pleasure of traveling across the host cities using semi-luxury and inter-city buses.

This was announced on Tuesday during the signing of two Memoranda of Understanding between the Department of Transport, 2010 FIFA World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC) and other stakeholders, marking an important milestone in fulfilling the FIFA requirements for the World Cup.

The transport sector had signed a guarantee for the world cup that amongst others ensures that efficient and safe transportation was provided to all visitors; there would be sufficient air, road and rail transport operators to accommodate the event and there would be sufficient infrastructure to accommodate increased travel demands during the tournament.

Speaking at the event, Transport Minister Jeff Radebe said the department, through the state-owned Passenger Rail Agency South Africa (PRASA) had committed 50 semi-luxury buses to the LOC, 10 of which would be obtained from the market.

"We have also committed 420 semi-luxury and inter-city buses to MATCH (a company appointed by FIFA to provide ticketing and accommodation).

"In addition PRASA will provide another 110 buses for general spectator services to facilitate the movement for general and local spectators," Minister Radebe said.

The minister said with only 437 days until the kick off to the world cup, the agreements were a show of the department's commitment to making the event a resounding success.

"South Africa is making a commitment to FIFA that the tournament is not only about soccer but also about the country's ability to transport thousands of fans who will be coming for the soccer showpiece."

The minister said according to its business plan, the department needs about 1000 buses of which 570 would be operated by Autopax, a private luxury bus service company; however this would be subject to approval by the National Treasury.

During May 2008, the Department issued a request for proposals (RFP) to the market for the supply of buses and coaches for the event.

Minister Radebe said four proposals were received in response to the RFP and the preferred bidders would be announced within the next few weeks.

LOC Chief Executive Officer, Danny Jordaan said since the beginning of world cup preparations, transport had been one of the central issues on the business plan.

The LOC is content with the level of buses to be provided for the tournament, Dr Jordaan said adding, that his team was certain that the country would be able to meet all transport needs during the tournament.

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