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Gautrain link to be ready for World Cup

South Africa is accelerating construction of a section of its Gautrain high speed railway so that it will be ready in time for next year’s World Cup finals, concession contractor Bombela confirmed today.

As reported in June, political will was leaning towards an acceleration of the scheme, which would initially have been ready just in time for the final games in Johannesburg.

Now, CEO of Bombela, Jerome Govender, has unveiled a plan to accelerate the scope to make the line from Oliver Tambo International Airport and Sandton Station - 10km from the centre of Johannesburg - open in time for the games, which begin on 11 June 2010.

The original timetable would have had the first sections open more than two weeks later on 27 June, in time only for the knock-out stage of the final 16 teams.

The new proposals must now be approved by Gauteng Province, who had already rejected plans to fast-track the whole of phase 1 - all the way to the centre of Johannesburg - citing funding restraints.

“The modified scope for Phase 1 represents an alternative and more affordable solution to the challenge” said Govender.

Bombela is a partnership between:

  • Murray & Roberts (SA)
  • Strategic Partners Group (SA)
  • Bombardier (CA)
  • Bouygues (FR)
  • Minority shareholders are J&J Group and ABSA Bank.

The full line from Johannesburg to Pretoria, via Oliver Tambo International Airport is due open on 27 March 2011.

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