The Department of Transport briefed the Committee on its Transport Plan for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and beyond. The briefing mainly touched on the legacy aspects of transport improvements. The Bus Rapid Transit System was the biggest legacy in regards to improvement of the public transport system. The full Gautrain line would only be open by mid 2011. There was a Gauteng Road Improvement Scheme. Similar schemes were in Cape Town and Durban. The improvements to airports were part of the Airports Development Programme. None of the projects had been specifically earmarked for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The projects had been in the pipeline for many years. Projects were merely brought forward due to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Few new staff had been employed due to budgetary constraints. Host cities were rationalising internal staff and existing staff members were being redeployed where they were most needed. The Department had established a website www.findyourway2010.co.za to assist visitors to the World Cup.
Members questioned the functionality of the Department website to assist persons travelling around South Africa and whether its existence had been advertised properly. Concern was also raised on a variety of issues. The traffic congestion on roads and the lack of transport-related improvements in rural and peri-urban areas were some of the concerns. Improvements were mostly concentrated in urban areas and Members felt that people in rural areas and in poorer sub-economic areas outside urban areas would not only be excluded from experiencing the 2010 FIFA World Cup but would not benefit from it. The Committee acknowledged the benefits of the improvements but was concerned to ensure their continued upkeep after the World Cup.
The Chairperson postponed consideration of the minutes of 13 and 20 April 2010 until the Committee’s next meeting. The current meeting had to be adjourned before 12:00 noon as Members had to be elsewhere. It was also brought to the attention of Members that meetings for 25 May 2010 would have to be rescheduled as Members would have to partake in Africa Day celebrations.
Department of Transport briefing on the Transport Plan for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and beyond
The Chairperson asked the Department of Transport that the briefing shed light on improvements in transport. He also asked how the benefits of the huge public investments would be maximised. The focus should be on the legacy aspect of what had been done. What improvements would have been made even though the 2010 World Cup was over? Was there people employed where they should be? The efforts of the Department should be in synergy with the Department of Tourism.
Ms Lusanda Madikizela Chief Director 2010 Soccer World Cup Unit, Department of Transport, noted that the Department had set up a website www.findyourway2010.co.za . The website was intended to provide visitors with sense of how to travel through South Africa (SA). After the 2010 FIFA World Cup the website would be rebuilt to focus more on public transport in SA. The Department also had a National Command Centre and Call Centre. It would deal with risk and information management respectively. The 2010 World Cup was an event gathering experience. Synergy was needed between the Department and the Department of Tourism. Given traffic conditions in host cities there would also be live real time traffic updates.
As early as 2005 the Department had worked on a 2010 Transport Action Agenda. Its first aim was to have a successful 2010 FIFA World Cup that would showcase SA to the rest of the world. The second was to leave a lasting legacy of benefits. Roads and public transport were two such benefits. The Department noted that there was a grant in place. The Bus Rapid Transport System was the biggest legacy in regards to improvement of the public transport system. The full Gautrain line would only be open by mid 2011. In relation to improvement of roads there was a Gauteng Road Improvement Scheme. Similar schemes were in Cape Town and Durban. The Department emphasised that none of the projects were specifically earmarked for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The projects were in the pipeline for many years. Projects were merely brought forward due to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The same could be said about the upgrade to SA’s airports. The improvements to airports were part of the Airports Development Programme. The Department outlined its operational plan in which it sought to deploy staff where most needed. Few new staff had been employed due to budgetary constraints. Host cities were rationalising internal staff and existing staff members were redeployed where they were needed.
Ms M Shinn (DA) referred to the website created by the Department of Transport - www.findyourway2010.co.za and asked whether in the future it would link to bookings and tickets online.
Ms Madikizela said that the website provided information on services across the country. There was for example information regarding the various airlines and links were provided to those airlines which would allow passengers to book tickets. It would be too great a challenge for the Department to take bookings on the website. It was a highly unlikely exercise to be undertaken by the Department.
Mr G Krumbock (DA) felt that the website should have had more menu options. It would have made life so much easier.
Ms Madikizela responded that the website did offer a journey planner. It showed what forms of transport was available and what was required to access a particular form of transport. For example for the hiring of a motor vehicle it provided information on car hiring agencies, a drivers licence was required and that a credit card was required for payment to be made. She admitted that the website did not have much information regarding taxis. The best approach was to click on a host city and the 2010 World Cup information for that city would come up. She pointed out that host city specific services were part of phase 2 after the 2010 FIFA World Cup. There would be a refocusing of the website after the World Cup Tournament.
Ms M Njobe (COPE) asked what volume of passengers was at present expected to use the Gautrain. It would at present only operate from Sandton to OR Tambo Airport. The Gautrain project was expected to be complete some time in the future. She was concerned that soccer fans located in peri-urban areas would be left out in the cold. Would these fans be accommodated given the instability of the taxi industry? Was the Department of Transport in discussions with the taxi industry over the issue? Concern was also raised about the traffic congestion in Gauteng.
Ms Madikizela noted that projections had predicted there to be 140 000 users of the Gautrain per day. The Gautrain was to operate from the 5 June 2010. Congestion on roads in Gauteng had increased considerably and hence the 140 000 figure could be doubled. The most likely form of transport from peri-urban areas was taxis and buses. It was a commercial exercise for bus and taxi operators. Provision had also been made for an intercity bus service as well as inbound and coastal areas services. The traffic congestion in Gauteng was a challenge. 60% of the teams participating in the 2010 FIFA World Cup were based in Gauteng. The good news was that provision for protocol routes had been made for them. They would also be escorted by traffic officials. She noted that the airport to city link mostly used bus services. Protocols were in place. Luckily during the tournament schools would be closed and business travel would be less. Hence 60% of the traffic at airports would be World Cup travellers.
Mr Krumbock also referred to the website and asked if people were aware of its existence. He asked whether there would be a proper marketing campaign to market it. The ability to have municipal buses, match buses and operator buses functioning in conjunction to transport passengers to and from games on time was a challenge given traffic congestion. He noted that the presentation did not speak on the issue. How was the flow of traffic of these buses to be managed?
Ms Madikizela explained that there was not per se a marketing campaign for the website. It was more so made known by word of mouth. The Department had a small marketing budget. The website did provide a downloadable booklet. Regular press releases were made as a big budget for advertising was not available. It was more about information dissemination and less about advertising. Marketing had been done for the Confederations Cup. The budget was simply no longer available.
Ms Shinn asked whether the Department had considered search engine optimisation.
Ms Madikizela responded that the Department had reserved three domain names. If a person, for example, Googled the term “travel in SA”, the website was found in the top ten results. The website was also registered on Facebook and Twitter.
Ms X Makasi (ANC) referred to challenges in the taxi industry and asked what negotiations were taking pace between the industry and the Department. Unfortunately the Bus Rapid Transit System in Cape Town only operated from the Cape Town International Airport to Greenpoint Stadium. It did not operate from townships to Greenpoint Stadium.
Ms Madikizela stated that the Department was in communication with the taxi industry. The discussions were not without their challenges. The taxi industry had its own expectations for the 2010 World Cup and there was a certain measure of dissatisfaction in their ranks in terms of what benefit was accruing to the industry. Negotiations with the taxi industry were ongoing. She noted that most of the travel in Cape Town was by rail. Metrorail intended to provide extra services and trains would operate until later in the evening.
Ms T Tshivhase (ANC) pointed out that the realities of the difficult life in rural areas were very much unknown. She asked for specifics on what was being done in rural areas. What was being done by the Department about the bad condition of roads and the many potholes?
Ms Madikizela said that a rural transport grant was available. The amount was small but it was nevertheless a grant. The situation in rural areas was different from urban areas. Rural areas did not have the same commuter market as urban areas. In rural areas transport was more of a social service. The level of demand in rural areas was not great. She stated that the infrastructure developmental cluster addressed the issue of the condition of roads. Monitoring road infrastructure was difficult. The challenge was a lack of finances.
The Chairperson said that the benefits of what was being done should be communicated to persons like workers and schoolchildren, for example. He added that over and above the World Cup soccer matches there was also interest in other activities like entertainment. What was the Department doing about transport to entertainment venues like the Baxter Theatre and the International Convention Centre?
Ms Makasi said that areas like Delft in Cape Town were far from railway stations. How were persons in these areas expected to participate in the 2010 World Cup festivities? He was aware that viewing areas were situated in the city centre and in Khayelitsha.
Ms Madikizela said that many of the host cities were constrained in terms of what to provide due to budgetary constraints. In Cape Town an inner city service was provided which was in line with its budget. Other than what was provided, people had to organise their own transport. Everyone could not be covered. The upgrade of SA’s public transport would be in phases and was expected to be complete by 2025.
Mr L Khoarai (ANC) asked what the reason for the tollgate at King Shaka Airport was. He noted that on his drive to OR Tambo Airport he no longer saw traffic officials on the road as he did before. Was the Department happy with the numbers of traffic officers?
Ms Madikizela said that a feasibility study had been done on the need for the toll gate. The idea was to recoup some funds. There were definitely not enough traffic officers. During the World Cup officers would be required to work extra shifts and no leave was allowed for the period in question. Visibility of traffic officers would be on prioritised routes. The World Cup had an urban focus.
Ms V Bam-Mugwanya (ANC) said that the thinking behind the 2010 FIFA World Cup was along white racial lines. Rural areas were not even considered. They were an afterthought. Perhaps it was because rural persons did not have money and hence they were relegated to oblivion. Areas like Delft were also predominantly black. Only what worked already was improved upon. She added that SA’s national roads were in a chaotic state. Complaints were lodged but nothing came of them. Rural areas were still neglected. World Cup viewing areas in rural areas were few or nonexistent. There was not enough dissemination of information in rural areas. Rural areas were forgotten and it was now too late to do anything. The World Cup was already here. How was the rural transport grant accessed?
Ms Madikizela said that the rural grant was moderately funded in terms of the rural transport strategy. The grant was already in place and at the moment was focussed on three municipalities. The conditions of roads were the responsibility of provincial departments in terms of the provincial road network. Provincial infrastructure grants were available; it however covered all infrastructure needs in the province. In most instances health and education for instance took precedence over road maintenance. It was easier to access funding for new roads than to access funding for road maintenance. It was an ongoing challenge.
Ms Njobe said that there was a great deal of construction on the N2 and in urban areas in general. Would roads be ready in time? Not much was going on in rural areas. Rural areas should have also benefited from the 2010 FIFA World Cup. She asked who was to use the protocol routes. The Committee had travelled from the airport to Soccer City accompanied by a police escort, without which members would have been caught up in traffic. It was felt that sometimes the police escorts should have more regard for other motorists too. Other motorists could include doctors and nurses that needed to get to work. The idea was not to neglect South Africans. She asked the Department what gave its staff sleepless nights regarding the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Ms Madikizela said that what worried her most was strikes by workers, for example the strike by Transnet workers.
Mr Leka Kekana, Director 2010 Soccer World Cup Unit, Department of Transport, was more concerned about how the Department worked with other stakeholders. Would they be willing to co-operate?
The Chairperson pointed out that there had been strikes in Germany and France whilst they were hosting the World Cup.
Ms Shinn noted that she had surfed the internet during the meeting via her cell phone. When she did manage to reach www.findyourway2010.co.za it was difficult to navigate.
Ms Madikizela noted that a mobile website was an option for persons accessing the internet via cell phones. Mobile sites unfortunately only had 20% of the information that a normal site would have. The website was being updated all the time. The site was work in progress. She felt it perhaps best to access the website via a normal desktop or laptop. The site was user friendly for some whilst not for others.
The Chairperson said that the upgrade of the airports, the development of the Gautrain and upgrade to rail and bus transport including infrastructure improvements were all legacy benefits. All the improvements were good. The only concern was maintaining them after the World Cup, and having enough staff to run and manage facilities.
The meeting was adjourned.
- We don't have attendance info for this committee meeting
Download as PDF
You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.
See detailed instructions for your browser here.