Use public transport, says MEC

GAUTENG traffic officials have urged soccer fans to use public transport to get to the Fifa World Cup final at Soccer City on Sunday.

GAUTENG traffic officials have urged soccer fans to use public transport to get to the Fifa World Cup final at Soccer City on Sunday.

This is after soccer fans who used their cars to go to the stadium for the World Cup kickoff festivities on June 11 caused chaos on the roads, with some missing the opening ceremony.

Briefing the media in Sandton yesterday, roads and transport MEC Bheki Nkosi said: "At the start of the tournament we experienced serious traffic congestion on some of the routes leading to Soccer City due to the large number of people using their vehicles to travel to the stadium instead of the available, efficient public transport."

Nkosi encouraged fans to use public transport, including trains, the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit system and minibus taxis, which will drop them off at the stadium.

He said some roads around Soccer City, parts of the N1 highway would be closed from lunchtime to enable traffic officers to facilitate the smooth movement of fans and VIPs to the stadium. More than 10 heads of state will attend the closing ceremony.

"Only vehicles with authentic accreditation will be allowed to travel in the areas affected by road closures. Any motorist who disobeys the special World Cup traffic regulations will have their vehicle impounded and may face heavy fines," Nkosi said.

He said the SA Police Service would work with Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni metro police.

Lucky Mabasa, a senior official in the Department of Transport, said that the closures would be "soft lock" and would allow residents and certain people to pass through.

Nkosi explained 'soft lock': "When a police officer comes to your window, asks you how you are and then asks where you are going on a closed road, it is to assist residents who live in that area."

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