With just 499 days to go before the 2010 Soccer World Cup kicks off, KwaZulu-Natal premier Sibusiso Ndebele is confident that the province is on track to host the historic event.
"We have moved from a province of gloom to a province of prosperity, occupying a well-deserved position of international prestige," he said yesterday.
"No longer do people identify the province with merely its big five or its reputation for violence, but rather with the fruits of development and success."
He said the hosting of the World Cup would add to the gains of the province.
"We hosted the 1000 days countdown celebration as well as the 2010 Indaba. On 25 November 2007, the 2010 Fifa World Cup preliminary draw took place in Durban and was an overwhelming success.
"The province hosted representatives from 204 of the 208 soccer-playing nations of the world as well as a contingent of international media - the largest Fifa representation ever."
Meanwhile, official Fifa host City Durban is also ready to showcase its success, according to the head of Durban's Strategic Projects Unit, Julie-May Ellingson.
She said the new Moses Mabhida Stadium was a world-class, state-of-the-art, multi-disciplinary sports facility.
It was designed to accommodate the 2010 Fifa World Cup, rugby and athletics and a wide variety of music concerts, cultural events, motor shows and many other events .
Other improvements include a new inner city bus system.