Source: Department of Transport
Title: SA: Ndebele: Address by the Minister of Transport, at the Airport Terminal Upgrade Project, Bloemfontein
Programme director, Ms Monapule Ntamo
Free State MEC: Police Roads and Transport, Mr Thabo Manyoni
Executive Mayor of Mangaung, Playfair Morule
Acting Director-General of Transport, Mr George Mahlalela
Managing Director of Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), Ms Monhla Hlahla
Members of the media
Ladies and gentlemen
Until 4 December 2009, when FIFA holds the official draw for the finals of the 2010 World Cup we will not know who will play here in Mangaung. Yet we are certain of at least the following: The opening and closing games, the opening and closing ceremonies will be held at Soccer City in Johannesburg. The two semi-finals will be held in Durban and Cape Town.
It is easier to plan for the so called known and much more difficult to plan for what we do not know. So what do we know so far? In a tournament which features 32 teams, a total of 64 World Cup matches will be played over 25 match days from 11 June to 11 July 2010. Johannesburg will host 15 matches and Cape Town will host nine World Cup matches. Nelson Mandela Bay and Durban will each host eight games in 2010. Mangaung we know will host six games. This is what we know.
However what we do not know until the draw in December is who will play in these six games here in Bloemfontein. We say therefore if England were to play its first game in Johannesburg and are expected to play the following match here in Mangaung; it would be up to us to ensure that the fans are transported back and forth. It is not up to the fan to have to worry too much about getting from point A to B. This is the responsibility of Team Transport.
It is also up to us, Team Transport, to ensure that we do so in the most secure and safest manner. At the same time it will be up to us to ensure that we make that journey an enjoyable and pleasant experience. It is during the travelling between games that relationships are formed and common experiences developed for life.
The development we are unveiling here today is a pointer of how ready we are to provide that experience for the world soccer fan that will land here come June 11 2009. This is an assurance to the world that we are ready to provide the facilities, which will build lasting memories and establish new and solid relationships.
Linked to this development is a hotel, the road realignment project, the Apron upgrade and R46 million. Terminal Reconfiguration Project which will be completed in January 2010. We are pleased that more than 500 jobs have been created and that the construction company is black-owned.
As we spend these billions of rands we must draw increasing numbers of our people from the margins into the centre of the economy. We will among others do this through job-creation, entrepreneurship and skills development.
Preparing for future influx
This airport development also prepares South Africa for the future influx of passengers. Current projections for air travel indicate that airports in South Africa may have to double capacity every nine years to keep up with demand.
For Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) one of the greatest projects is the construction of R7 billion of the La Mercy Airport and the construction of the R900 million central terminals building at Cape Town International Airport. Following these developments ACSA should be able to accommodate the influx of passengers estimated at over 35 million by 2010.
At the end of 2011/12 the 10 airports under ACSA's network should facilitate over 40 million passengers while handling 611 631 aircraft landings. The addition of the new facilities here in Bloemfontein prepares us to deal with that expected influx beyond 2010.
Just yesterday we were at the launch of the inaugural flight of Emirates that started operating between Durban and Dubai. It is possible to sign bilateral agreements with such airlines because we are not only getting ready for 2010 but we are getting ready for the influx beyond 2010.
Safety is a key aspect of the work we are doing. Our mandate is to ensure that our facilities and skies are safe and secure. The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Air Transport Symposium held in Abuja Nigeria in April 2008 warned that liberalisation should not compromise safety and I quote:
"Economic liberalisation has implications for safety and security, regulation which need to be properly addressed at the national, bilateral, regional and global levels in order to ensure the continued safe, secure and orderly development of civil aviation".
In closing here is another thing that we know for certain.
- Bloemfontein will no doubt be a resounding success!
- Bloemfontein will be a memorable experience for all!
- Bloemfontein will be the best experience because here we have the best of what South African fans can become!
There are simply no fans anywhere in the country that show such unending support to their team, regardless of whether the team wins or loses. The fans here are truly amazing.
If this winning and festive spirit of the Bloemfontein fans were to be transferred to all the games that Bafana Bafana plays, the entire tournament would be a resounding success!
I thank you.