A section of South Africa’s $3.5bn Gautrain rail project to link Johannesburg, Pretoria and OR Tambo International Airport will be ready for the 2010 World Cup, the concession company carrying out the project has said.

The Bombela Concession Company has unveiled a new, economical plan to accelerate construction of a 10km section from the airport to Sandton to have it up and running before 11 June 2010 when the games begin.

The proposal is subject to approval by the Gauteng Government.

Earlier this month, provincial and national officials announced that the project would not finish until October next year due to budget constrains.

The railway was expected to ferry visitors from the airport to the commercial centre during the tournament, which will run until July 2010.

Bombela is a partnership between Murray & Roberts and Strategic Partners Group from South Africa, Canada’s Bombardier and French company Bouygues, as well as minority shareholders J&J Group and Absa Bank.