THE uThukela district municipality in northern KwaZulu-Natal will spend R1million on a mayoral cup tournament to showcase its readiness for the 2010 soccer World Cup.
The Mayoral Cup, to be played on July 26, has been staged since 2003 with only only one big team taking part. This year Premier Soccer Soccer league side - AmaZulu, Maritzburg United, Jomo Cosmos - and a squad from the district will be featured.
"Though no game is going to be played in our district [in 2010], we are positioning ourselves to benefit from this event," mayor Mqapheli Sithole said yesterday.
"We do have a stadium and facilities that clubs can utilise for training."
Sithole said the Drakensberg range, uThukela River, heritage sites and resorts could attract international tourists.
"We have drawn lessons from the kind of hospitality that the country provided during the Confederations Cup and we promise to continue with this legacy in 2010," he said
Soccer lovers, he said, could look forward to a great tournament.
The tournament had previously showcased the talent of local stars such as former Bafana player Siyabonga Nkosi, now playing for Supersport United, and Dio Sibisi of Mamelodi Sundowns.
Former mayor Stanley Dladla challenged soccer people to fight for their rights and not to allow politicians to overlook them when naming sports institutions.
Dladla was referring to the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, Limpopo's Peter Mokaba Stadium and Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.