plan needs a lift

All reports by Ramatsiyi Moholoa

All reports by Ramatsiyi Moholoa

The Limpopo provincial government has turned to the Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa) for help in the upgrading of Polokwane International Airport.

This was according to Sello Moloto, Limpopo premier, last Thursday during the State of the Province speech, in which he announced that the process was finally taking shape.

The Limpopo government and Polokwane municipality are involved in a joint project to upgrade the airport, which they plans to use fully for the 2010 World Cup.

Moloto, who is directly involved in the preparations for the quadrennial tournament, said construction of the terminal was nearing completion.

"The board is still pursuing various endeavours and partnerships to ensure that our objective of developing it into a regional commercial and cargo hub is realised.

"The private sector is beginning to show keen interest in this initiative. We have enlisted the technical expertise of Acsa to assist us in realising this objective."

Moloto said the provincial government had also identified the commercialisation of Great North Transport (GNT) as one of their flagships.

He said the national department of transport has developed a new public transport strategy influenced by the demands of the 2010 World Cup preparations.

"The new strategy propagates an integrated rapid public transport network to unify all modes of transport, including taxis, rail and non-motorised transport.

"Inevitably, we have also had to review our envisaged unbundling of the GNT in order to conform with the provisions of the new national strategy."

The provincial government and municipality are also involved in a joint project to build the International Convention Centre in the city.

The centre will also be used during the World Cup. Moloto said they had made significant progress towards the realisation of the facility.

"Part of the reasons why we could not proceed as we envisaged with the construction of the ICC, was the rapid increase in the cost of building materials and the upsurge in demand for the construction of the World Cup stadiums and related bulk infrastructure.

"Influenced by all these factors, the cost far exceeded our budget for the project."

Moloto said they were happy that the process of building the Peter Mokaba Sports Centre was on schedule.