It would be "a bonus" if the first phase of the Gautrain rapid rail link, stretching from the OR Tambo International Airport to Sandton, was ready for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, said Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane on Tuesday.
Visiting the Gautrain operating control centre, in Midrand, she said that the Gauteng government could "promise" that it would be ready to provide transport for the sports event, however, "as for the Gautrain, if it so happens to be ready, it is a bonus."
There had been much speculation on whether the initial phase of the R25,4-billion project would be ready in time for the World Cup, especially as former Gauteng premiers had indicated repeatedly that it would be completed for the kickoff in June.
Gautrain Management Agency CEO Jack van der Merwe told Engineering News last week that it would be possible to complete the project in time, but that this carried a yet unknown price tag.
A decision on whether accelerating the project was a value-for-money proposition to government was now expected to be taken in December, he had indicated.
The Gautrain would link Tshwane, Johannesburg and Midrand by 2011.