THE ZIMBABWEAN superstar is racing against the clock to be fit to start for Giovanni Solinas’ side at FNB Stadium tomorrow afternoon, and he admits that it’s a ‘huge privilege’ to be part of the festivities.
Chiefs have a torrid record over their Soweto rivals, Orlando Pirates, in the Absa Premiership of late, and Billiat will be eager to try and play his role in helping them pick up three points for the first time in nearly four years’.
Speaking to the club’s official website, the 28-year-old, “The Soweto Derby is like no other local derby or game in the country. The whole country virtually comes to a complete halt when the two Soweto giants meet, and we know that it is an important occasion for the fans.
“I’ve been in South Africa for several years and watched the Soweto Derby on television but have never attended the game. It’s a huge privilege to be a part of this spectacle for the first time and I am looking forward to the experience as a player – especially in Kaizer Chiefs colours. I know the atmosphere will be electric and we have to live up to the expectations of the Amakhosi supporters.”
Billiat knows that his side doesn’t have the best of form against Pirates, but isn’t too worried about it, adding, “We know it’s not easy, but I believe it’s not about the previous games or form, it’s what you do on the day as a team. We need to work very hard because we know that winning will bring confidence for the rest of the season.
“I’m looking forward to the Soweto Derby experience with thousands of the Kaizer Chiefs Family and we need to ensure that we win it. This will bring smiles to millions of supporters’ faces and help build our confidence for the rest of the season.”
Meanwhile, if you are one of the 86 000 soccer fans attending the derby‚ you are advised to arrive early to avoid the traffic chaos that could unfold when the two teams meet.
This is after Stadium Management SA revealed on that there would be no trains ferrying fans to the highly anticipated 160th Soweto Derby between the two Soweto rivals.
SMSA announced that they would allow 52 000 vehicles to drive to free demarcated general parking areas around the stadium.
“We have planned for 52 000 people to arrive via their own transport‚” said SMSA Managing Director‚ Bertie Grobbelaar.
“There will be demarcated free parking spaces available to the 52 000 cars and you don’t have to pay for that parking.
“If there’s somebody asking you for a fee for parking‚ it’s an illegal car guard and illegal transaction.
“Most probably you’ll be parking in a prohibited area and further running the risk of your car being towed away.”
Grobbelaar further said the train issue was a “matter that was completely out of our hands”.
“There will be no Prasa trains running on the event day due to the technical difficulties involving cable and track theft‚” explained Grobbelaar‚ adding that there would also be no metro buses running on the day.
“But the BRT and Rea Vaya have entered the party and they have increased their bus load by 30%.
“There will be 100 buses running on the day on the normal Rea Vaya routes with intervals of three or five minutes.
“Those buses will have dedicated lanes which is important because there is no use having intervals but you are still stuck in the normal traffic.”
According to Grobbelaar‚ the buses will operate from 11am starting from Ellis Park‚ Library Gardens‚ Thokoza Park and C1 Dobsonville.
Other than these buses‚ Grobbelaar said they have reached an agreement with Top 6 Taxis and they promised to deliver fans to the stadium using 150 taxis.
“This time around we will try to have better use of taxis.
“Top 6 and some other taxi associations have dedicated 150 taxis for this event and they will run from all over the city.”
Grobbelaar added that those fans opting to use Urber and Taxify are allowed to do so and there will demarcated parking for those services.
On the security side in and around the stadium‚ SMSA said they have employed s
even different security companies and they will be helped by Metro police and SAPS to direct the traffic.