THE world-class and iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban was officially opened with a football match between two top KwaZulu-Natal soccer teams - AmaZulu and Maritzburg United.
The stadium, with its 350m high arch has 150 CCTV cameras that clearly show even the outside precincts and has the largest screen in Africa. It cost R10million.
ANC provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala described the stadium as a beauty that will become the pride not only of Durban but KwaZulu-Natal as a whole.
"Even the sceptics who poured scorn on the costs and resources put into this infrastructure are today marvelling alongside us at the beauty of this landmark.
"Indeed, the prophets of doom now see the light and are convinced of the necessity of building this wonderful facility, which will attract thousands of tourists," he said.
Post-2010 the eThekwini municipality will position the stadium as a tourist attraction that will also form part of the 2010 legacy.
"With the stadium's international standards and remarkable facilities we hope to bring many international sporting games to this province and the country.
"As the ANC we believe the stadium will ensure the legacy of Moses Mabhida is flown high.
"We also call on the eThekwini municipality to ensure that visitors and tourists visiting the stadium are tutored on the remarkable life of this veteran of the struggle," he said.
Zikalala said the opening of the stadium yesterday shows that KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa are ready for the World Cup.
"Our aim now through the provincial government is to woo top countries to base their teams here and to ensure that tourists coming in choose KwaZulu-Natal as their preferred destination."