Mail and Guardian (June 18-24; Vol 26 no 23 p 12)) ran an article by Duduzile Mathebula entitled ‘We love you South Africa – World Cup tourists give the country the thumbs up but public transport is a major gripe’. It seems that most of the foreign visitors are ‘overwhelmingly positive’ about their initial experiences in this country. Firm favourites amongst fans to Jozi are the vibe and people of Soweto, the Rosebank market, the variety of shopping generally, the Apartheid Museum, and game viewing in the Pilanesberg. Fans are generally happy with the wide range of activities and sites on offer. However all is not rosy – while some have been lucky with their transport arrangements, others have complained about the lack of clarity around the details of transport options as well as things not running smooth with major delays. I was quoted as follows:
‘Liz Delmont, the proprietor of top-rated guest house Liz at Lancaster, says her foreign guests are often surprised that ‘Joburg is a modern functioning city’, especially after the horror stories in the media back home,. But she feels the city will not be truly tourist friendly until it solves its public transport problems’.
I remain frustrated that with our extensive rail, road and transport infrastructure, our varied pool of existing transport providers, and our high rate of unemployment, we as Joburgers were still not able to ‘get our act together’ in time for the influx of World Cup visitors and have not been able to give reliable information about transport arrangements, nor deliver consistent and efficient transport around the city and to and from games.