A significant milestone has been reached in the provision of reliable transport services for the 2010 FIFA World Cup with the signing of a major memorandum of understanding (MOU) between some of the tournament's key transport role-players.
The MoU between the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa (OC), the South African Department of Transport (DoT), the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) and FIFA partner MATCH marks the commitment to provide seamless coach and bus transport for the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 and 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The DoT and PRASA committed over 50 semi-luxury buses to the Organising Committee and 420 semi-luxury and inner-city buses to MATCH for in particular the Tournament's Tour Operator programme. In addition, PRASA will provide another 110 buses for general spectator services.
"Transport is the lifeblood of the FIFA World Cup. It has always been identified as one of the key areas of the tournament and this agreement will go a long way to ensuring the event is a success from a transport perspective. We are happy that as we sign, we walk away with the assurance that we will have the ability to move the 32 teams, the FIFA family and the supporters," said the Chief Executive Officer of the OC Dr Danny Jordaan.
"With this signing ceremony we are all making a firm commitment to FIFA that the World Cup is not only about soccer, but it is also about South Africa's ability to transport thousands of fans who will descend on Africa for this prestigious tournament," said the Minister of Transport Mr Jeff Radebe.
The two MOU's will go a long way in ensuring a successful transportation system for both FIFA tournaments. The first MOU is an agreement that the DoT and PRASA will assist the OC with the provision of coach and bus transport to the FIFA family and the participating teams through PRASA-owned Autopax, which operates both Translux and City to City bus services, as well as from the private sector.
The second MOU is an assurance to FIFA that the DoT will provide adequate coach and bus transportation services to MATCH to facilitate the movement of FIFA officials, as well as spectator groups that have purchased MATCH hospitality packages.
For Minister Radebe, the citizens of South Africa will benefit most from the agreement, as 570 of the buses will be operated by Autopax after the 2010 FIFA World Cup, greatly improving the public transport services in South Africa.
"The transport sector has endeavoured to not only provide seamless and faultless transport systems during the event, but to also leave a lasting public transport legacy, to be infinitely enjoyed by our citizens. The transport system is more than ready to host the Cup," said Radebe.