Posts Tagged ‘South Africa’

Public Transport in South Africa

Public Transport in South Africa

As is the case with much of the third world, South Africa has been struggling to provide adequate public transport system and as a result an unregulated industry developed to fill in the vacuum. The mini bus taxi industry has been in operations for over three decades and has become part of the urban landscape. It is against this background that transportation planners and the South Africa government decided to look for alternatives.

The Bus Rapid Transport SystemOne of the alternatives that the government decided to introduce is the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system. In essence, the BRT is an integrated transportation system with dedicated bus lanes and buses with low floor boarding. Internationally touted as an effective public transportation solution, the BRT appears to be the solution to South Africa’s transportation issues. South Africa is host to two major FIFA tournaments, the Confederations cup in 2009 and the World Cup in 2010. Consequently, the government has had to move faster to improve the public transport system. However, the BRT has been a contentious issue in the country particularly amongst mini bus taxi drivers; many taxi operators feel threatened by the planned introduction of the Bus Rapid Transit System.

Since the announcement of the BRT introduction, there have been regular protests by taxi operators around the county. In Johannesburg, the commercial capital of South Africa, in the wake of crippling protests, sectors of the taxi industry formed the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) to liaise with the city government on the implementation of the BRT. According to Michael Bleby’s article in the 20 May 2009 Business Day ‘South Africa: Taxi Body Wants to Control BRT Value Chain’, the taxi operators and the SANTACO are currently challenging each other over the BRT and its side line businesses.

Ownership of the BRT lucrative value chain is highly sought after. Bleby’s article points out that there are billions of rands to be made from the contract to operate and manages the buses as well as “from businesses such as station management, maintenance and cleaning, advertising and security, ticketing systems, cash management and managing electronic passenger information systems. The potential value for these in the first phase alone is as much as R500m.” Understandably, everyone wants a piece of the pie.

The Importance of a Successful BRT As a result of all the demonstrations and threats from the taxi industry, the BRT development was temporarily halted. Although work on the BRT has commenced it would not be ready for the confederations cup as planned. Clayton Barnes and Ella Smook in the Cape Argus 19 May 2009, ‘South Africa: Fifa’s Plan B for 2010 Fans’, quoted FIFA as saying that “it will transport foreign spectators itself during next year’s World Cup if the government does not resolve issues affecting the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) ahead of the tournament.”

The successful hosting of both the confederations cup and the world cup are important to South Africa’s image. These tournaments give the country an opportunity to showcase itself and perhaps attract new investment and tourists.

Public transportation is one of the ways to highlight the country and affect perceptions. A working public transportation system signals that the country is stable and prosperous. The success, or failure, of implementing transportation projects like the BRT, would speak volumes of where South Africa is heading with regards to its economic development.

Photos South Africa President receives FIFA World Cup trophy

Photos South Africa President receives FIFA World Cup trophy

PHOTOS: Zuma receives FIFA trophy

The visit was held during a briefing to local and international media on the 2010 Soccer World Cup at the Presidential Guest House in Pretoria, South Africa, on Sunday June 6, 2010.

The country is expecting tens of thousands of tourists and soccer fans to arrive in the country this week and recently completed finished building an airport.

Soccer City Stadium, where many of the FIFA games will be played, was completed two weeks ago.

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In statement to reporters, Zuma said:

We knew from that moment that South Africa would never be the same. It is clear that millions of our people have waited for years and look upon this tournament with hope, pride and a sense of belonging.

Blatter also met with former South Africa leader Nelson Mandela last week. The 91 year old global icon expressed his wish to be present at the opening and closing ceremonies.

We have seen things we have never seen before. Flags everywhere emphasize the cohesion we have been left with.

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Teams and Stars to Follow at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil

Teams and Stars to Follow at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil

The 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa was a success for football fans around the globe thanks to the excitement and passion seen in the competition. People have high expectations for the next World Cup in Brazil and, based on the performance of several rising stars in South Africa, they have every right to do so.

Qualification for EURO 2012 is about to begin, and it might be too early to do an extensive analysis to determine which football teams can win the Word Cup in 2014, but based on the class shown by up and coming football stars, such as Thomas Mueller, Mesut Ozil, Andre Ayew, and Giovanni Dos Santos, we can predict which teams have the potential to be contenders in Brazil.

Predictions Based on Young Stars, Which Football Teams Will Go Far in Brazil 2014?Whether you are planning to do some World Cup betting, competing in a football fantasy league or are just an avid fan, you might want to start keeping an eye on the following stars and the football teams they represent. These were amongst the youngest in South Africa and produced some of the best football; if their stars reach their full potential in four years time, any of these teams might win theBrazil 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Germany National Football TeamThe German players’ average age at the 2010 World Cup was 25.0, making them the third youngest team at the finals. Apart from the fact that this team is always a contender for lifting the trophy, Germany was the top scoring squad at South Africa with 16 goals. If all goes well for them, Germany’s stars will reach their full potential in Brazil 2014.

Thomas Mueller (Forward, Age: 20, Club: Bayern Munich, Germany) Mueller won both the 2010 FIFA World Cup Hyundai Best Young Player and the Adidas Golden Shoe awards. He finished joint top scorer with 5 goals and, aside from his goal scoring instincts, he shows more potential than current strikers, Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski, thanks to his superb vision and passing skills.

Mesut Ozil (Midfielder, Age: 21, Club: Real Madrid, Spain) Fans may not see Michael Ballack at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but Ozil has established himself as an ideal replacement. The young star lacks Ballack’s strength but makes up for it with superb skill and speed.

Aside from this two rising stars, the core of the German team is made up of young players with proven experience, such as Philip Lahm and Bastian Shweinsteiger. This makes the German team a top contender to lift the World Cup in 2014.

Ghana National Football TeamThe great African hope during South Africa 2010, Ghana came up short of reaching the semi finals but generated exciting and attacking football. Considering they were the tournament’s youngest side with a 24.1 average, many expect them to become the first African team to reach the FIFA World Cup semi finals.

Andre Ayew (Midfielder, Age: 20, Club: O. Marseille, France) Ayew showed exceptional passing skills at South Africa, converting 85% of his passes and providing an assist during Ghana’s victory over the US. He was one of the three nominees for the Best Young Player Award.

Kevin Prince Boateng (Forward, Age: 23, Club: Portsmouth, England) Boateng showed skill, strenght and speed at the 2010 World Cup. He also scored Ghana’s first goal over the US. If he is able to overcome some indiscipline problems, he will shine in four years time.

Ghana also has a couple of very promising defenders in Samuel Inkoom and Jonathan Mensah. Except for Stephen Appiah, and Hans Sarpei, the bulk of Ghana’s players will be at their prime during the 2014 World Cup.

Spain National Football TeamSpain deservedly won their first ever World Cup and was arguably the most dominating team. Although this side did not boast as many young stars as Germany or Ghana, several promising football players are waiting for their turn to shine in Brazil 2014.

Cesc Fabregas: (Midfield, Age: 23, Club: Arsenal, England) Fabregas was mainly used as a substitute in South Africa, but he will be one of the main candidates to marshal the Spanish midfield in 2014.

Gerard Pique: (Defender, Age: 23, Club: Barcelona, Spain) Spain’s defense was the tightest in South Africa and Pique played a major part in frustrating opposing strikers. He is also shining at club level with Barcelona and keeps improving with time.

Another promising youngster, Bojan Kirkic, was left out of the squad. Spain could also give some playing time to Daniel Pacheco, a 19 year old who recently finished as leading scorer at the European U 19 finals. Since many stars including David Villa, Xavi, and Carles Puyol will probably play but be past their prime in 2014, Spain’s success depends on developing these young stars.

Mexico National Football TeamThe Mexican team played entertaining football but ultimately disappointed fans by failing to reach the quarter finals. Head coach Javier Aguirre, caused much controversy by not giving enough playing time to several young stars.

Javier Hernandez (Forward, Age: 22, Club: Manchester United, England) Hernandez scored goals against France and Argentina and also recorded the fastest speed by any player at the World Cup, reaching 32.15 km/hr. If he is able to get enough playing time at Manchester United, he will be a force to be reckoned with at Brazil 2014.

Giovanni Dos Santo s (Midfielder, Age: 21, Club: Tottenham, England) Gio’s passing skills and dynamic play earned him the right to be one of the three finalists for the Best Young Player Award during the World Cup.

There are several other young players who have made their mark in the Mexican team, like Andres Guardado and Efrain Juarez. Some veterans, such as Rafael Marquez and Cuauhtemoc Blanco, will surely miss the 2014 World Cup; however, Mexico has enough youthful talent to replace them. The question is, will this new generation of football players be able to adopt a winning mentality to go far in Brazil 2014?