Johannesburg - Eleven trains will be set aside to transport soccer fans to the opening matches of the African Nations Champions (Chan) in Cape Town, Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) said on Monday.
"With the start of the... Chan 2014 South Africa set to kick off at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday, January 11, Prasa, through its operator Metrorail, is ready to take fans to the games," the rail operator said in a statement.
Saturday sees the group A fixtures of South Africa versus Mozambique and Nigeria versus Mali, with Prasa expecting a large number of fans to use trains.
Each of the 11 trains set aside for Saturday had a capacity of around 1200 people, and would deliver fans in time for the 6pm kick-off.
"As a gesture of support to the fans, Prasa head office through Metrorail will offer a free return train ride to all valid match-day ticket holders only," Prasa said.
"Ticket holders are then urged to hold onto their ticket for the return leg of the trip or face a R40 fare."
Both security and operational plans would continue as normal to ensure that both daily travellers and soccer fans travelled safely and securely.
Prasa CEO Mosenngwa Mofi said: "Our main aim is to demonstrate, through our Metrorail operations, the importance of rail as the backbone for public transport through its ability to carry much larger numbers of commuters.
"In addition, we want to demonstrate that rail is not only a week-day mode of transportation but a vital part of our leisure travel."
This was why Prasa was working hard to improve its service through various technical and station improvement programmes.
Prasa, apart from providing extra trains, would also provide bus transport through its Autopax bus subsidiary for games where Metrorail trains would not be running.