2010 call centre to open next month

A CALL centre aimed at ensuring that visitors to the country are provided with travelling information will become operational next month.

It will be opened in time for the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup to ensure efficient and effective transport, said Transport Minister Sbusiso Ndebele yesterday.

"It will offer assistance to tourists to adequately plan their trips," he said.

Ndebele met with chief executive of the soccer tournament's Local Organising Committee Danny Jordaan in Pretoria for an update on transport plans for the soccer showpiece.

"The transport command and call centre will serve as a central hub of coordination for transport operations, information management and risk assessment during the World Cup.

"The centre will enable the department to maintain overall command, control and coordination of transport operations across the country, including host cities and provinces," Ndebele said in a statement.

"The centre will provide live, real-time information that will also facilitate quick decision-making and responses to incidents. Travellers will also be able to access relevant transport information through the call centre and a central website," he said.

Department spokesperson Logan Maistry could not say how many operators would be on board.

"Over the next few weeks, the department will liaise with provinces and host cities to finalise their respective transport coordinators, who must have sufficient authority to make decisions regarding any transport matter in their relevant jurisdiction.

"South Africa has never had so many visitors and public transport users as we will experience during the World Cup," Ndebele said.