World Cup 2010 Ministerial Guarantees: Report-back by Departments and entities
Several entities reported to Parliament on their state of readiness for the 2010 Football World Cup. Much of the jet fuel requirement at OR Thambo International Airport was supplied by the NATREF refinery pipeline. Supplementary supplies would be sent through the pipelines from Durban and by rail from Durban and Mozambique. Although there would be a sharp increase in demand, Transnet was confident that all demands would be met. South African Airways was confident that it would meet the demands. Extra staff had been employed to cope with increased demand in air and ground operations. Aircraft had been leased to cover any technical problems. Eskom had made extensive plans to guarantee the security of power supply during the tournament.
The Department of Energy was confident that supplies of liquid fuel and electricity would be adequate. Some new infrastructure still had to be tested but everything was in place. This was echoed by the South African Petroleum Industries Association. The South African National Roads Agency had completed most of its work on upgrading highways and introducing traffic management systems. The Passenger Rail Association of South Africa emphasised its determination to provide safe rail services.
Several of the host cities reported on their progress. In all cases all infrastructure projects were almost complete. Finishing touches were needed. A common problem was the lack of funds to complete the work and to ensure legacy projects were completed. It was agreed that this matter must be discussed urgently after the World Cup. The Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport was ready but its capacity was restricted due to a lack of facilities.
Members were concerned about the availability of both jet fuel and normal fuel ahead of an increased demand for road transport. They were reassured that maximum efforts would be made to ensure the safety of airports and efficiency of flight operations. South African Airways would be operating on a 24 hour schedule. They were reassured that staff would be instructed to give a positive first impression of the country. A major concern was the impact of strikes.
Members were concerned about media reports which emphasised negative aspects. In some cases journalists were twisting facts to create a pessimistic outlook. A particular matter was the reporting on a fuel leak at the King Shaka Airport in Durban. Members were reassured that the matter was in hand but the wrong perceptions had been created.
The Committee was given the assurance that all uncompleted projects would be completed before kick-off. It was generally agreed that South Africa was ready to host the World Cup.
Ms Thabethe noted the apologies of the Minister of Public Enterprises and the Minister of Energy.
Mr Gumede said that he thought the country was really ready for the World Cup. He quoted the South African Broadcasting Corporation slogan “Feel it – it is here.”
Ms Raisibe Lepule, Acting Deputy Director-General: Transport, Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), said that three of the state-owned enterprises (SOEs) would be making presentations. These were Eskom, South African Airways (SAA) and Transnet.
Mr Vuyo Kahla, Group Executive, Transnet Limited, said that the focus of the Transnet presentation was the security of fuel supply, especially jet fuel. This was mainly at OR Thambo International Airport (ORTIA) in Johannesburg as the rest of the airports were supplied by road or other means of transport. The total requirement was currently 4.5 Megalitres (Ml) per day which equated to 33 Ml per week. During the World Cup the demand was expected to increase to 10 Ml per day. The policy was to have a minimum stock of three days' supply.
Mr Lennie Moodley, Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Transnet Pipelines, said that Johannesburg fell within the C Zone of the country. This area was predominantly supplied by pipelines. He was not sure of the volumes which could be supplied by the refineries in Durban. The supply to ORTIA was primarily by pipeline from the NATREF refinery. There were two pipelines from Durban to Gauteng. These were the Durban - Johannesburg pipeline (DJP) that was mainly used for refined products, and a crude oil pipeline. Under normal circumstances NATREF sent 22 Ml per week to ORTIA by the pipeline. This was augmented by 11 Ml per week supplied by rail. The DJP was not normally needed but could be used to send supplementary supplies. He anticipated that the DJP would send 10 Ml of jet fuel per week to ORTIA during the World Cup.
Mr Kahla outlined the potential challenges. Production problems might occur at the refineries. The quality of the product might not be up to standard. There was a challenge of loading at ports of entry. There were normal challenges in transport by pipeline or rail. Offloading at ORTIA had limitations. There was a limitation on storage facilities at ORTIA. There were more specific problems. The first of these was the power supply. Eskom had assured Transnet that there would be no problems. Weather conditions could play a role as rail cars could not be loaded in the rain at Durban. Cable theft could hamper rail operations. Equipment failure was always a possibility. There were commercial arrangements which had to be considered. The availability of skilled personnel could also be a challenge.
Mr Kahla said that there were three specific recommendations. Excellent communication was needed. A co-ordinated team effort was required. The Department of Energy (DOE) had to provide strong leadership, and to this end a task team had been formed.
Mr Kahla said that the expected additional demand at ORTIA during the World Cup would be between 46 and 107 Ml of jet fuel. An additional 23 Ml of petrol and diesel would be needed in Zone C for road transport. Supplying these needs would displace anything between 45 and 138 Ml from the supply of the DJP.
Mr Kahla said that Transnet had undertaken certain high level actions to ensure the supply of fuel. NATREF would supply 24 Ml per week during the World Cup by pipeline. Rail deliveries would account for 14 Ml per week. This would leave a shortage of 9 Ml over the eight week period. A slug of 10 Ml would be sent on the DJP during the period. Two slugs of diesel and petrol would be sent through the crude pipeline to supplement that requirement. Contingency plans were in place including using spare rail cars for storage and road transport.
Mr Kahla said that Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) had an installed capacity of supplying 18 Ml per week to ORTIA from Durban. A more realistic estimate was 14 Ml per week. Supplies would also be transported from Durban to Bloemfontein and to ORTIA from Matola in Mozambique. ORTIA had the capacity to offload forty rail cars per day. This was only on the day shift. TFR could move two sets of 39 rail cars per day. The SAPREF and ENREF refineries in Durban could load a total of 64 cars per day. This could lead to a bottleneck.
Mr Gumede asked the presenters to focus on the major challenges due to time constraints.
Mr Kahla said that they had already dealt with the most important issues. They needed to be engaged in the process. Their systems had been tested.
South African Airways (SAA)
Mr Ian Cruickshank, Project Leader 2010, SAA, presented the state of readiness for various aspects of SAA's operations. SAA was 92% ready in terms of aircraft and 85% ready in terms of aviation compliance. SAA was sending safety teams to Bloemfontein, the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA) and Polokwane. SAA did not normally operate into these airports. There was no threat to security. Additional customer service personnel had been employed as well as extra staff to handle VIPs. Extra cabin staff had been employed and integrated into the existing staff complement. SAA was fully staffed for flight operations. The global operations control centre was 99% ready. Extra personnel had been taken on. This centre was able to monitor the SAA fleet on a 24 hour basis. SAA was 100% ready for extra cargo operations.
In terms of operations support, Mr Cruickshank said that SAA was 100% ready in terms of procurement. Regarding human resources, the applicable policies had been sent to staff members. There had been some initiatives in terms of social intervention. He was 100% confident that there would be enough fuel. SAA was 80% ready to serve its Voyager programme members. There had been an expectation that no Voyager tickets would be available during the World Cup, but it would now be possible for Voyager members to redeem tickets. SAA would be 100% ready in terms of integrated technology by the World Cup. SAA's systems were used by South African Express Airways and South African Airlink. There was a problem at three of the airports where there was limited capacity for ground handling and catering. Equipment was being moved to those airports to address the problem. SAA was well prepared on the technical side. The servicing of all aircraft had been moved forward so that all aircraft would be available during the tournament.
Mr Cruickshank said that a number of SAA teams would be assigned to deal with the visiting teams, media and VIPs. The airline would be operating on a 24 hour schedule during the tournament. They had employed 500 additional staff for cabin and ground operations. The call centre hours had been extended and extra staff had been appointed. There would be a multi-lingual approach. Security on baggage handling would be doubled. In the event of theft, the claims procedure would be shortened from 21 to six days. There were still tickets available. Many tickets had been sold across the price spectrum. Staff had been made aware that they were the first point of contact for the country. SAA was ready.
Mr Alfred Lester said that Eskom had been busy with their preparations since 2007. He would concentrate on technical aspects and the security of supply. A lot of key work had been done to ensure that bulk supplies would be secure. A number of collaborative efforts had been set up. A 2010 Electricity Supply Industry Forum had been set up. Bodies represented on this forum included the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA), the World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC), EDI Holdings and the National Treasury. The forum was looking to identify national risks and the answers to these problems. It met monthly.
Mr Lester said that the coal stockpiles had been increased from 25 to 42 days. The Department of Water Affairs would be making additional water supplies available. The expected peak demand during the World Cup was 37GW. Eskom should have the capacity to satisfy that demand. No intrusive maintenance work would be held during the tournament although Eskom would continue to work on unaffected networks. Teams would be available to do repairs on live lines where necessary thus assuring minimal interruptions.
Mr Lester said that Eskom had met with the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP). South Africa would be making minimal exports during the World Cup while taking maximum imports. For example, the normal import of 1500 MW from the Cahora Bassa scheme would be increased to 2500 MW. A reliability assessment had been done on the transport of power. Critical sites had been tested. Eskom was 96% ready for the World Cup. Balanced tactical plans had been drawn up. Security would be provided to national key points (NKPs). Power lines to neighbouring countries would be secured. Security personnel would be deployed one week before the start of the World Cup. He did not want to reveal which lines had the highest priority as this could give information to potential saboteurs. The open cycle gas turbine plants in the Western Cape would be available to supplement the supply. Additional imports would amount to 3 MW. The Confederations Cup in 2009 had shown where interaction was needed.
Mr Lester said that Eskom was represented at the various national, provincial and regional disaster centres. A national simulation exercise had been held in April and the resulting recommendations had been implemented. Another had been held the previous day. Eskom still needed to have a disaster management exercise. Eskom had established an emergency response command centre at its head office. This centre would be mirrored at regional offices. There was a plan in place for emergency communications during the World Cup. Security was critical. Additional networks had been established. Eskom was evaluating the security of the roads used for coal trucks together with the South African Police Services (SAPS) and was working closely with National Intelligence.
Mr Lester said that an emergency communications structure had been set up. This would respond to trigger events. The critical period would be during the tournament. Staff would be available on a 24/7 basis. The conditions of service had been adapted to make provision for the extra hours. He was satisfied that Eskom was 100% ready. Although the presentation indicated 96%, this was because of small items related to communications and training and the deployment of personnel. Eskom was ready and would provide assistance to their municipal colleagues.
Department of Energy (DOE)
Mr Tseliso Maqubela, Deputy Director-General, DOE, apologised for the absence of the Minister and the Director-General. He said that the World Cup had to leave a long term legacy. A major concern was nuclear security. The DOE was ensuring the safety of the country in the event of a nuclear attack. The Department was consulting with the International Atomic Agency, the European Union and the United States of America (USA). Equipment to the value of R50 million had been installed at ports of entry. This would be part of the World Cup legacy. A national response team had been trained. The security of installations was complete and it was now all systems go.
Mr Maqubela said that the human resources (HR) element was important. The DOE was guided by Government principles and had made an effort to balance the gender of employees. Two of the three project managers were women. The team dealing with liquid fuels consisted of internal staff. The knowledge would therefore stay in the Department. A task team had been established by the Minister under the leadership of Ms Ramuedzisi.
Ms Tshilidzi Ramuedzisi, Chief Director, DOE, made a presentation on the state of readiness regarding liquid fuels. She was not anticipating any disruptions. The logistics committee had been holding daily meetings during the current Transnet strike.
Mr Thabang Audat, Acting Chief Director, DOE, said that there was a focus on two projects concerning electricity supply. These were situated in Mbombela and Rustenburg. In Rustenburg, Plan A had gone into motion while there was a Plan B in force. Areas at risk in general were the lighting of the host cities and electricity supplies to hotels, team base camps and public viewing areas (PVAs). Work had started on a new substation at Mbombela. It was 7 km outside the town. The situation was being monitored closely.
Mr Audat said that the precinct supplies were to be completed by 15 May. The DOE would conduct oversight of the work being done there.
Ms C Zikalala (IFP) observed that at the Mbombela stadium there were sections where the sun did not penetrate. She made some more comments in isiZulu, which were not translated.
Ms N Mathibela (ANC) said that a major challenge at ORTIA was the storage capacity for jet fuel. During oversight visits Members had been given the assurance that there would be no problems. This issue was now being raised as a challenge. In terms of electricity, she asked if there was an emergency back-up plan for the national grid.
Mr S Radebe (ANC) asked for more detail on the Transnet readiness, especially regarding the requirements for the DJP lines. He had visited Bloemfontein and had been given the impression that there were other reservoir sites there. He felt that there were not enough storage facilities in Bloemfontein and at ORTIA. Members had been promised a report. He asked what timelines were in place to address the current strikes.
Mr D Lee (DA) was worried that SAA was only 66% ready in terms of aviation safety. He asked what the gap was. He asked how ready the airports were. George airport was the most unsafe and asked if anything was being done. SA Airlink operated into George and SAA said that it was not responsible for the facility. He felt that SAA was dodging its responsibility. He asked if the leakage problem at King Shaka Airport in Durban had been resolved.
Mr N Dikgacwi (ANC) asked how the smaller airports would receive fuel supplies. The energy plan had been completed on 15 May. He asked if there was any update to the plan.
Ms Ramuedzisi replied that two new jet fuel tanks at ORTIA had been completed. They had already been connected to the hydrant system. Stock levels would be supplemented by using empty rail cars at ORTIA as storage facilities. She acknowledged that there was limited storage at Bloemfontein but the supplier had a plan in place. Two diesel tanks would be temporarily converted to store jet fuel. Nelspruit airport was supplied by rail. The supplier had adequate road tanker capacity. Empty vehicles would be used for storage. Levels would be kept at a maximum operational level and would be kept topped up.
Mr M de Freitas (DA) also referred to the fuel leaks in Durban. He asked how the stress on the pipeline could be reduced.
Mr E Lucas (IFP) said that Members had been assured that the power supply at Mbombela would be complete by 15 May. Now the DOE was saying that the job would only be done by 31 May. There was still 25% of the work to be completed. He asked if this would be done in time. The fuel leakage in Durban was a serious issue. He asked if the current strikes had led to the refineries stockpiling fuel supplies. There would be a lot of extra road transport during the World Cup. He asked if there would be enough fuel for the period.
Ms E More (DA) asked if there was any plan to deal with flight delays. Industrial action at British Airways prompted her to ask if all labour issues at SAA had been resolved. She asked who would fix the leaking pipeline at Durban. She suspected that the taxpayers would be presented with the bill. She asked what risks were anticipated as SAA was only 85% ready in this regard. She asked if any monitoring systems were in place to improve baggage security. Employing extra staff might just be increasing the capacity for theft.
Mr Maqubela said that the fuel leak in Durban was a contractual issue. The Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) was best placed to provide an answer. It was a matter between ACSA and their service provider.
Mr Komphela said that Members had compared the reports on Mpumalanga provided by the DOE to Parliament's own reports. The reports did not tally. The DOE report was a year old but his Committee had cecently visited the area.
Ms Thabethe said that SAA had a good safety record but she was now getting worried. While the airline's safety record was good, the cabin service was bad. She found this frightening. Overbooking was a critical issue. During the recent jazz festival even Platinum members of the Voyager scheme were bumped off flights.
Mr Cruickshank said that the 66% aviation safety readiness was not related to aircraft. The gap was due to security personnel who would be deployed before the start of the World Cup to protect parked aircraft. Audits had been conducted at Bloemfontein and Polokwane, which were not normal SAA destinations. Security would be deployed at airports on 6 June. SAA, SA Airlink and SA Express shared the Amadeus platform and shared common flight numbers. This created the perception that they were a single airline.
Mr Cruickshank said that SAA was currently providing the best ever on-time performance levels. Leased aircraft would be on standby to be substituted for unserviced aircraft. The risk profile was still at 85% because of the risk of industrial action. He was confident that this issue would be dealt with but things could always go wrong in this sphere. An initiative was under way to protect passengers' baggage. This was really an ACSA issue. SAA had its own system in place but chose to withhold details to prevent them reaching the ears of crime syndicates. He noted the point regarding the lapses in service. A robust internal campaign had been undertaken. Each employee had been reminded of his or her duty to treat customers well until the end of the World Cup. SAA had taken a decision not to allow any overbooking during the tournament.
Ms Thabethe said that when her Committee had visited Mbombela in April 2010 they had been assured that there was no problem. They had been told that it was all systems go for the new substation. The stadiums would be powered by generators with the national grid as the back-up. She asked if this was enough. Load shedding might be a problem. Her Committee had witnessed a test and the change-over between mains power and generator power was between 15 and 45 seconds. The change-over had not been noticeable. She thought that Eskom was 100% ready but wanted to know what the real challenges were. She did not have the engineering background to make an assessment.
Mr Audat said that electricity supply was a risky area. The DOE received monthly reports and had compiled its presentation on the basis of those reports. The last report had been received at the end of April 2010. He took that information as being accurate. The project at Mbombela was 75% complete. All construction and installation of equipment had been done. Eskom now needed to test each component individually. This was the reason that readiness was only at 75%. The testing process should be completed by the end of May which would leave the project at 100% readiness. According to the reports, the power supplies outside the stadiums were at risk. The generators inside the stadiums were all completed by 15 May. The DOE would confirm the written reports, which indicated that the precinct supplies were ready. New equipment was small compared to the supply but this should not have a negative effect. There was back-up for the national grid. A condition was that electricity supplies in the stadiums must have 100% redundancy. A report had been received from the LOC that all stadium installations were completed by 15 May. The DOE still needed to conduct a physical inspection.
Mr Lester said that the capacity during the World Cup would be 43 GW. The open cycle gas turbines at Atlantis and Mossel Bay were fuelled by diesel and would contribute 3 MW to the grid. Increased imports and the return to service of some stations would add between 150 and 300 MW to the grid. There would be sufficient capacity over the period. The risk of constraints was low. He had visited all the stadiums the previous week. All had three points of supply. At Rustenburg an uninterrupted power supply unit would be installed. This was expected to arrive from the USA on 28 May.
Mr Gumede said that the Transnet report had identified copper theft as a risk. Transnet was the main supplier of fuel for Gauteng. He asked what back-up plans were in place. He was not sure if there was a contingency plan for storage.
Mr Maqubela said that the radiation security was necessary because of the possible threat from terrorist groups. A dirty bomb was one where a radiation source was attached to a conventional bomb. The detonation of such a device would be sensational. People feared the radiation hazard more than the blast itself. Detectors had been installed at ports of entry.
Mr Kahla said that Transnet had been looking for a sustainable solution for the strikes. There had been negotiations the previous night which had been characterised by a constructive focus. He remained positive that there would be a solution. It was important to place an emphasis on the security supply of liquid fuels. Contingency plans had been tested and had stood up to scrutiny. Transnet was prioritising the security of inland supplies. There had been an incidence of sabotage the previous week but the line was still being safeguarded.
Mr Kahla said that extra rail tank cars at ORTIA would be used for storage. TFR would be sending 32 tank cars from Durban to Hamilton, which would provide fuel for Bloemfontein and Kimberley. In smaller areas supplies would be by road. Cable theft was a major issue. Critical corridors would be safeguarded. Diesel locomotives would be placed on standby as a contingency. Repair response teams would be deployed in strategic areas with instructions to fix any problems within an hour.
Mr Moodley said that the pipelines would be running at capacity. A normal supply of 5 Ml per month would now have to be increased to 10 Ml per week. The supply of jet fuel would displace other products. Diesel and petrol would be supplied by the crude oil pipeline. Pipeline supply would be supplemented by rail, particularly for diesel fuel. Extra inland storage facilities would be filled before the World Cup started. The King Shaka airport was currently being supplied by road. The pipeline in question was from the storage tanks to the apron. This was an ACSA issue. He had flown from Durban that morning so there had to be fuel available.
Mr Gumede said that Mr Komphela was correct to raise the issue of 75% readiness in the electricity supply. Parliament had carried out thorough oversight visits. Multiple visits had been made at different times. Members had been present at the match on Sunday that was held in Mbombela. The grass problems had been attended to. The Members had gone not only to watch the match but also to check the readiness. The stadium was in a superb condition.
Mr Komphela said that since 2006, Government had been working on the World Cup. There were continuous negative reports in the South African media. The electricity supply would only be confirmed to be 100% ready after the tests had been carried out. He referred to a recent e-News interview with General Cele, the National Commissioner of the SAPS. The interview had been conducted in a hostile and arrogant tone. The media was not reporting on the actual situation. The media reports contradicted Parliament's findings.
Mr Radebe said that individuals must not be allowed to mislead Parliament. Mr Komphela was correct in his comments concerning the media. Misinformation was being spread.
Ms Thabethe said that the 25% gap in readiness was because of outstanding testing. She asked if the testing process warranted such a high percentage. She had visited Mbombela and was happy with the upgrades made to the power station. Mbombela would be ready. Back-up plans were in place. The only problem in that town was the inadequate road signage. She had been told that this would only be addressed when the road construction was completed.
Ms Thabethe asked SAA to ensure that the service level was improved. Members of Parliament were all frequent flyers. Travellers could interpret bad service as a sign of internal problems. SAA was the national carrier and she hoped that they would live up to their responsibilities. It would help if surly stewardesses could smile and avoid creating a bad impression of the airline. She accepted that flight delays might be caused by problems with ground handling facilities. ACSA would submit a presentation to the Committee later that day. However, the buck stopped with SAA.
South African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA)
Mr Maurice Radebe, Chairman, South African Petroleum Industry Association (SAPIA), said that all refineries were fully operational, both inland and coastal. Import plans were on track. Nine days of stock were being kept, which was above the critical level of three days for jet fuel. SAPIA was on track with petrol and diesel fuel supplies. Retailers had to be ready for an increased number of foreign customers who would be paying for fuel purchases by credit card.
Mr Radebe said that the challenges lay in what Transnet had said about the pipelines to ORTIA, both from NATREF and the DJP. A real concern was the Transnet strike. The supplies were still being managed. A lot of use was being made of trucks. There was a 24 hour operation and all leave had been cancelled. He feared that if the strike was prolonged the public might go into panic buying mode. Some refineries might be forced to shut down. This could lead to a supply crisis. He gave the assurance that SAPIA would do everything in its power to make it work.
Mr Mike Sutcliffe, City Manager, Ethikwini Municipality, said that the stadium was ready to be handed over to FIFA. There had been a hiccup with hospitality tents. Plans had now been authorised and were on track. Road construction would be completed shortly before kick-off. An extra layer of tar had been applied. The fan park was located on the beach and would be part of the fan walk leading to the stadium. There had been a last minute expropriation of land on the beachfront for informal traders. The city was testing closed circuit television cameras and high mast lighting. This would all be completed by 31 May. There was minimal construction outstanding at the operations centre.
Mr Sutcliffe said that talks on inner city regeneration would continue. However, Durban was the warmest place to be during June/July. There would be two joint operations centres. One was run by the host city of which he was in charge. This would deal with all matters except those which fell under the ambit of the SAPS, who would run the other centre. The second centre would concentrate on security matters. Daily meetings would be held during June.
Mr Sutcliffe said that there had been cutbacks and the city needed an urgent meeting with the national Treasury (NT) after the World Cup. There would be an impact on legacy planning. Ethikwini also needed resolution on ticket sales. The LOC was working on this aspect. There was a need to reserve some seats for councillors and other key people. An operational framework was needed but not many such promotional tickets were required.
Mr Sutcliffe said that he had spoken to the ACSA CEO. The media were often not educated on the technicalities. The fuel leakage issue at King Shaka Airport was actually a minor one. By comparison, the opening of Terminal 5 at London's Heathrow Airport had been an absolute failure. In the case of Durban, all operations had been moved 50 km to the new airport virtually overnight. South Africa was a transparent country and the CEO had been open on the matter. The welding of the pipes would have to be x-rayed. The joints had to be perfect. The matter was being dealt with and there was no security impact. It was sad that the media chose to focus on this case and blow it out of proportion. A gas problem had been reported at the stadium but the stadium had been described as being world class. Perceptions would linger, particularly where the Afro-pessimists could air their views.
Mr Sutcliffe said that all the host cities had experienced funding issues. There was a need to discuss substantial financial issues after the World Cup. He was really proud of what all the host cities had achieved.
Mr Sutcliffe said that the issue of small traders at the stadium had been raised. They would be fully operational on match days. Most of the traders were linked to specific soccer clubs. The traders had been given kitchen facilities to conduct their operations. However, they had to understand that the World Cup was a FIFA event and different rules applied. All other traders were satisfied. The city had issued 15,000 trading licences and it was only the illegal traders that were complaining. All the licensed traders were on board. A workshop had been held on illegal goods. Such goods were not acceptable at any time.
Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA)
Mr Bongani Maseko, Director: Airport Operations, ACSA, said that Mr Sutcliffe had adequately addressed the issues at King Shaka Airport. ACSA had issued a contract for engineering procedures and construction of the pipeline. There had been problems, not just with the fuel supply. This was the only airport of its size in the world which had been built in 33 months and opened without any major snags. There was a lot of pressure. The International Air Traffic Association (IATA) had inspected the fuel lines and had given them full marks.
Mr Maseko said that the impression had been created that George airport was unsafe. A lot of work had been done there to ensure compliance with safety requirements. There had been four tests and all showed that the runway was compliant. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had issued a draft report for comment. ACSA accepted some of the findings but not others. The incident with the SA Airlink aircraft skidding off the runway was the first of its kind since the airport had been opened. The same type of overlay used at George had been used on many other runways. ACSA had met with the CAA and the airlines. The runway met and exceeded the minimum criteria. Work there would be finished by 21 May. There could be no doubts over safety as three of the World Cup teams would be based in the Southern Cape.
Mr Maseko said that ACSA regularly met with the airlines to discuss the subject of baggage pilferage. ACSA expected each airline to take full accountability for baggage in its care. The problem did not seem to be common to all airlines. When the World Cup draw had been made in December 2009, the baggage of some of the FIFA delegates had been left in Johannesburg. Passengers had missed their connecting flight to Cape Town and there had been reports of pilferage.
Mr Maseko commented on the temporary infrastructure provided at Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth. ACSA had decided that it was not necessary to build permanent facilities at airports where normal traffic flow did not justify it. The temporary solution had been approved and was nearing completion. There was no import cost and the structures would be dismantled and returned to the service provider after the competition.
Elaborate plans were in place for land transport arrangements. He did not anticipate any problems and dry runs were currently being undertaken.
There had been requests that Port Elizabeth airport be given international status. In the World Cup planning, only ORTIA, Cape Town and Durban had been designated as ports of entry. Port Elizabeth did have international entry status but would not be able to accept international air traffic during the World Cup.
ACSA had met with a disabled persons’ forum on the subject of access. Elaborate plans had been drawn up. Specific equipment was needed for the ground handling of people with disabilities.
The single biggest risk faced by ACSA was a national strike of airport personnel. Various labour forces were at work. ACSA had requested contingency plans. The World Cup was an opportunity to show the world what South Africa was about.
Mr Maseko said that the fuel storage facilities at ORTIA had been designed to service the normal traffic load. The supply would be continuously replenished. Transnet had devised elaborate plans. Stocks of aviation fuel would diminish quickly if replenishment was not done timeously.
Mr Rowan Torr, Manager 2010, KMIA, said that he represented the airport rather than the municipality of Mbombela. The match between South Africa and Thailand on the previous weekend had been a great success. Temporary and permanent structures had been erected at KMIA. The decision was taken to rather spend available funds on permanent structures. An additional thatched area had been created, which could accommodate 600 passengers per day. SAA had established a counter for the duration of the World Cup. New carriers would be operating at odd hours. British Airways had started a service to KMIA recently and SA Airlink had operated to KMIA for some time.
Mr Torr said that operators liked to pass the buck on the issue of baggage theft. At KMIA the buck stopped with him. Management had taken a stand. Measures would involve the SAPS, security officials and camera surveillance. A particular problem was hand luggage which was too bulky to be taken on board and consequently placed in the “Sky Trolly”. Airlines should take measures to ensure that passengers did not have to be separated from their baggage.
Mr Torr said that the three-hub strategy for air transport was fine. KMIA would not be a port of entry for World Cup traffic and KMIA would not be able to provide a 24 hour service. Private charter flights would be accepted if they were sanctioned by the Department of Transport. Permission for these flights was outside the authority of KMIA. Air Traffic Navigation Services (ATNS) approved the slots and would not allocate flights after normal hours of operation at KMIA. This was controlled by the State. The Chilean delegation had commented favourably on KMIA and had requested to fly into KMIA directly. The delegation would be using a Boeing 767-300, which could be accommodated. Customs officials were in place and the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) were being applied.
Mr Torr said that Air Force Base Hoedspruit had been declared as an alternate port of entry. However, some aircraft could not land there as there was no suitable ground handling equipment. KMIA had been requested to transfer some of its equipment but had declined as it needed the equipment. The operations model for KMIA was as a drop-and-go facility. The airport could only handle four aircraft per hour due the lack of taxiways and inadequate aircraft parking facilities.
Mr Torr emphasised that KMIA had no control over slot allocations. They had negotiated with the ASTT. That organisation was a shambles, having had four different chairpersons in recent times. There had been no response to KMIA's concerns. This could affect the matches being played in Mpumalanga. One of the problematic issues was the lack of x-ray machines in the country. KMIA needed to have two such machines. A local company had machines in stock but demanded such a long minimum lease that it was unaffordable. This prevented KMIA from handling scheduled international traffic and affected operational costs.
Mr Torr said that no fuel was sold at KMIA as there was no aircraft parking facilities. The published hours for air traffic control (ATC) had been extended slightly. ATC would be operational on match days and the days prior and after. SAA would only land at KMIA if ATC and fire and rescue services were operational. KMIA had proved itself over the weekend and was confident of addressing any challenges.
Mr Komphela said that the Minister of Home Affairs and the security forces had investigated the matter and decided that any inbound traffic could only land at designated ports of entry. KMIA was not one of these. Aircraft could land at ORTIA and clear customs, and then proceed to KMIA. It was a private landing strip and control was needed. Safety and security measures might be an inconvenience but had to be accepted.
Mr Gumede asked KMIA to bear with the 2010 arrangements. He asked Mr Torr to co-operate for the sake of the country.
City of Johannesburg
Ms Sibongile Mazibuko, Executive Director 2010, City of Johannesburg, said that the International Broadcasting Centre (IBC) had started operations in April 2010. Journalists and technicials were being housed in Braamfontein and were transported by bus to the IBC. The Minister of Communication would tour the complex on 21 May. The formal opening would be on 2 June 2010. The city had been involved in discussions with the taxi industry. The Portfolio Committee had ascertained that the cooperation o the taxi industry was a challenge. There had been problems with acceptance of the bus rapid transport system (BRT). The benefits to taxi operators had been highlighted. Taxis were currently providing transport for IBC workers. The formal opening of Soccer City would be on 22 May for the Nedbank Cup final. Johannesburg was ready.
Mr Gumede commented on events in Alexandra, where the Football for Hope competition was being held. The community was unhappy as they felt that they had not been consulted. They had written to him to express their dissatisfaction. He asked if the problems had been ironed out.
Ms Mazibuko replied that there had been a challenge in the procurement process. No new structures had been built but existing structures had been repaired and upgraded. The work of local government was based on regulations. Procurement had to follow the correct tender process. Bidding was open to any interested partner. The city had not been able to make any procurement in Alexandra and had received no tender applications from Alexandra residents. FIFA had required that local business should submit quotations. These quotes were three to four times higher than the quotes received from other areas. The residents of Alexandra had been told that they needed to be competitive. The response was that if the residents of Alexandra did not benefit then no-one would. The residents had benefited from other programmes.
City of Mangaung
Mr Lele Mamatu, Director Media and Public Relations, Mangaung, highlighted certain issues of grave concern. One concern was the matter of the stadium. Work had been done on the access roads and most major roads were already complete. The airport interchange was completed by 1 May. Special needs transport had been attended to and a special bus had been procured. The city had engaged with local taxi operators. An agreement had been signed and the way forward had been mapped out.
Mr Mamatu said that the media compound and media centre at the stadium were complete. Small, medium and micro enterprises would be involved but details had not yet been finalised. A trader village had been set up. The last rugby match had affected the quality of the pitch but repair work was in progress. The City should see progress on the state of readiness in the following week.
Mr Ndavhe Ramakuela, Director 2010, Polokwane Municipality, said that the issue with the pitch had been settled. The grass was now fully grown. There was still some infrastructure work being completed and work on the 1.2 km long fan walk had commenced. The fan walk would be completed in another two weeks. Two or three events had been planned. One of the events was the trophy tour and a lot of publicity had been generated by this event.
Acultural village would be established. A number of African countries were interested in holding exhibitions. There was also interest from India. Temporary structures would be used for the cultural exhibitions.
There was a challenge with the park and ride scheme. Provision had been made for parking for 9,400 cars. Transport operations had been mapped out but needed to be finalised. Plans would be completed by the end of May. Flags had been put on display since the Committee's visit. Building ramps had been installed in the city parks and approximately 300 temporary signs had been erected. The city manager's team was meeting on a weekly basis, but adequate funding was a concern.
Mr Sammy Mabotja, Acting Municipal Manager, Polokwane Municipality, said that the withdrawal of grants was not yet being felt. The municipality had engaged with NT to bridge the gap. This withdrawal of the grants was affecting cash flow. Funds were needed for operations and available finances for the finishing touches on infrastructure projects were limited.
Nelson Mandela Bay Metro
Mr Errol Heynes, Executive Director 2010 Football World Cup, Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, said that the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro had no real issues or major concerns. In one area roads would only be completed by 30 May but this was outside the critical areas. LOC and FIFA had wanted the metro to purchase certain lights but the lights were sourced locally at a sixth of the cost. The new lights were fully functional. There were some challenges with transport. There was an agreement with the taxi industry and there was now full transport coverage. The matter of access for the disabled had been dealt with in Parliament. The Committee had raised the issue of there having to be sufficient space for SAPS personnel at the airport. ACSA had given the assurance that there was enough accommodation and temporary infrastructure would be provided if necessary.
City of Tshwane
Mr Godfrey Nkwane, CEO: 2010, City of Tshwane, said that there had been some problems with hotel construction. The city had met with the owners and the problem was resolved. The German team would be using the hotel in question.
A Blue Bulls rugby match was held at Loftus Versveld stadium two weeks previously. The following match had been moved to the Orlando Stadium. The pitch had been reseeded and was now conducive to football. The stadium would be handed over to FIFA on 24 May.
Informal traders would be accommodated in a designated area in the city centre. Work on the fan fest venue had already started. A memorandum of understanding had been signed with the Blue Bulls Company to manage the stadium beyond 2010. Government spending had to produce a legacy. The city was ready to sign the agreement but there had been some challenges.
The fan fest venue had been a challenge for some time. The original plan had been to use the grounds of the Union Buildings. The venue had now been moved to Centurion Park and plans were quite advanced. The facility was up and running and regularly hosted international events. There had been a smooth transition and Tshwane was on a par with other host cities.
Mr Nkwane said that the former Super Stadium in Atteridgeville (one of the training venues) had been renamed after a soccer legend during the previous weekend.
Mr Gumede asked what the deadlines were for construction at the fan park.
Mr Nkwane replied that everything was in place and no additional structures were necessary. The only matter to be addressed was the allocation of space and the city was in discussion with the various embassies.
South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL)
Mr Nazir Alli, CEO South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL), said that SANRAL was achieving its goal of a 30 minutes travelling time within a 50km radius. There was 185 km of road under construction in the metros of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekhuruleni. The recent adverse weather conditions and high rainfall experienced had caused some setbacks. There would be no disruptions to traffic during the World Cup. There would be no lane closures. The access roads to Loftus Versveld had been improved. At the request of Mr Gumede he did not go into the details for the various host cities.
SANRAL was developing an intelligent transport system. SANRAL had installed 220 closed circuit television cameras and electronic message boards had been erected on freeways. This meant that 200km of freeway was now under camera surveillance. The traffic management system would have other spin-offs.
The freeways in Mangaung would be ready by the end of May. The challenges were the weather and availability of materials. There were no major areas of concern. All lanes would be available although some might not have received the final surfacing. Road markings and road signs would be in place.
Passenger Rail Association of South Africa (PRASA)
Mr Paul Zikhali, Executive, Passenger Rail Association of South Africa (PRASA), advised that the main challenge faced by PRASA was long distance train services. Long haul trains enjoyed a priority. Discussions were well advanced. The most important projects were internal commuter systems in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. Automated systems were needed. Security was in place. Security was a major concern but he was confident that the trains would be safe for rail commuters.
Mr Gumede thanked all the presenters for providing the assurance that South Africa was ready to host the World Cup.
Ms L Mjobo (ANC) asked what the effects of the Transnet strike were on the fuel supply. She asked if there was any plan to limit the amounts of fuel sold to dealers. Funding was needed to enable municipalities to complete their projects. The airport at Port Elizabeth was not yet ready.
Mr Lucas said that the fuel leak issue should not be taken lightly. There was an environmental issue as well. He had heard of the agreements reached with the taxi industry. There was a need to look into these agreements. Municipalities must be assured that something would be done about providing much-needed funding. He complained that a toll gate had been erected immediately outside the King Shaka Airport. Anyone using the airport had to pay the toll for travelling in either direction and the local community felt that they were being exploited.
Mr Zukile Nomvete, Head: 2010 Football World Cup Coordinating Unit, Department of Sport and Recreation (DSR), said that the public transport infrastructure grant had been cancelled and the DSR was taking up the matter with the NT. The department had responded to Polokwane’s request to assist with their cash flow problems.
Mr Komphela said that the funding issue had been resolved. The problems with the German base camp had been resolved. The SAPS was satisfied with the situation. The SAPS had requested that the municipality finalised their PVA planning. The delays were causing logistical problems for the SAPS, who had to deploy personnel. Agreements had to be reached where Government money had been spent on private stadiums such as the Free State stadium and Loftus Versveld. Existing agreements would need to be renegotiated. With regard to ACSA, he stated that 90% of the Members of Parliament had experienced baggage theft. This problem had to be addressed.
Ms Thabethe said that ACSA must double its efforts to combat baggage theft. Swissport had a role to play as well.
Mr Komphela was concerned over the facilities for disabled persons. There were long distances to walk at the airports in Cape Town and Durban. The design of the new Cape Town terminals showed a complete disregard for the disabled. A drastic attempt to rectify this shortcoming would be necessary after the World Cup.
Ms Thabethe remarked that she liked to walk but not when forced to do so. She liked the design of KMIA, which reflected the beauty of Africa. ORTIA felt like a European airport. She advised that the readiness of the country would be debated in the National Assembly on 3 June. The Committee would compile a report on the briefings. She called on all Members to support the campaign.
The meeting was adjourned.