STATEMENT BY JACK VD MERWE

Posted on Nov 5, 2005 in Media Releases

MEDIA STATEMENT

At a media briefing yesterday I said the Gautrain Project must make enough progress by 2008 to convince a FIFA inspection team and if South Africa was not ready Germany, which was hosting in 2006, could then again host the 2010 World Cup. I would like to retract the statement. I do not have the mandate to speak on behalf on FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup Organising Committee and I apologise for any misunderstanding that could have occurred.  Although the Gautrain was included in the Soccer Bid proposal it is only a small portion of the transport solution and the delivery or not could not be a deciding factor.

Our media briefing yesterday had the purpose of introducing the South African BBBEE component of the Bombela Consortium. It was done in an attempt to illustrate how important it is for the Gauteng Provincial Government to deliver the Gautrain by 2010. I further said that both the Province and the Bombela Consortium not only have a contractual but an also moral obligation to make sure that the Gautrain is in operation by 2010. This demonstrated the commitment of the team to make significant progress in time for the FIFA inspection in 2008 in support of the work that the local SWC Organising Committee is doing.

The Gautrain is not being built for the purpose of the 2010 Soccer World Cup – it was conceived prior to that. The Gautrain is not only a transport solution but also an important economic development initiative. It forms part of an Integrated Transport Plan for Gauteng and will amongst other key objectives, serve to alleviate traffic congestion in the busiest traffic corridor in the country, create jobs, grow the economy and deliver a safe, fast and predictable service to the people of Gauteng and to visitors to our Province.

We have been planning this project long before the announcement last year that South Africa will be hosting this event. This system will further be in operation for many decades after the World Cup. It will serve to enhance people mobility for many international sport events that South Africa will be hosting in years to come.

I would again like to confirm the Gauteng Provincial Government’s commitment to have the Gautrain fully operational for the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup and our full support for the 2010 Organisation Committee and all Government’s actions related to it.

End

Issued by: Jack vd Merwe

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