World Cup projects still on track
Transport Minister Jeff Radebe says South Africa's international airports will be primary beneficiaries of the 2010 soccer World Cup.
Speaking on Friday on a tour of the King Shaka International Airport at La Mercy, north of Durban, Radebe said the airport would be ready by May 2010.
"The progress we have seen at La Mercy is an indication that the more than R8 billion that's being spent here will enable us to be ready by May 1 in order to ensure that we are ready for the 2010 Fifa World Cup," Radebe said.
"The government has made great strides in responding to global expectations in hosting the world.
"Transport is the core of any country's economy and we are fulfilling our commitment.
"Statistics show that we will have 300000 tourists flocking into our country for the World Cup alone and this has also upped my department's annual budget by R24million.
"We want to leave a lasting legacy for South Africans after the World Cup."
Radebe said upgrades at the OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg and Cape Town International Airport would cost R20billion.
Transport MEC Bheki Cele said the King Shaka Airport project had created more than 3000 jobs. That number would rise to 6000 once the airport was operating. He said R400million would be spent on roads to the airport.
The 19500m2 passenger terminal will open with 18 stands for aircraft. It will cater to domestic and international travellers. It will offer many retail outlets and be able to handle four million passengers a year.
Facilities for the police, military, VIPs, general aviation and aircraft maintenance will also be provided.
The 3700m runways will accommodate the latest aircraft, including the A380 Airbus, and can be extended to 4000m.