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Extra US$ 2 Billion Required by SA Transport for 2010 WC
May 01, 2007

Around US$ 2 Billion are needed for the development of Railways, Airports & Roadways ahead of 2010 Football World Cup (WC) in SA.

As per Jeff Radebe, South African Transport Minister, South Africa needs additional US$ 1.98 Billion to improve the infrastructure of its public transportation system, as South Africa looks forward to handle 400,000 Soccer Fans ahead of 2010 World Cup. National treasury had already allocated US$ 466 Million to Transport Ministry for the development of road & railway transportation system.

Radebe said that the transport dept. would request extra funds from national treasury & would also consider approaching private sector through public-private sector partnerships.

As per transport department's 2010 'action plan', US$ 1.22 Billion would be utilized for ten host cities, whereas US$ 426 Million & US$ 333 Million would be utilized for Metrorail & SA National Roads Agency, respectively.

SA Rail Commuter Corp, which owns Metrorail, has expressed concern over its old infrastructure due to which it has been working quite poorly. Lucky Montana, its CEO, said that the trains are requiring maintenance quite frequently as many of them have surpassed thirty years, trains' average age resulting in rising dissatisfaction among customers, declining rider-ship levels & has fueled acts against major rail assets.

A whooping 1800 Metrorail coaches are not operational out of the total 4600 coaches. Studies indicate that Metrorail requires at least US$ 8.64 Billion to renovate the entire system by 2036. Other improvements, by 2010 include upgrading of Pretoria's Wonderboom Airport to make it sufficient for handling at least 10% of Gauteng's air travel.

"Transportation is a sector on which all other sectors & industries depend and, therefore, can't be overlooked. Government must take bold steps before the situation goes out of hand," said an analyst at
RNCOS.

Moreover, around 13,000 people die in road accidents in South Africa & the number is increasing annually accounting to losses of US$ 5.72 Billion to South African economy every year, Mr. Radebe said.

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