ABOUT 500000 visitors are expected to flock to South Africa during the Soccer World Cup in June and July, Deputy President KgalemaMotlanthe said yesterday.
"Half a million direct visitors are expected to visit our shores during the tournament and this means billions of rands in monetary value," he said.
Local Organising Committee chairperson Irvin Khoza said the hype of hosting a successful tournament was evident throughout the country.
"When one goes to shops that sell Bafana Bafana jerseys they are out of stock, an indication that the public feels that the time is now," Khoza said.
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize said: "The Fifa World Cup has presented us with the opportunity to promote this province as a destination of choice for investments and tourism."
Two army helicopters carrying South African flags flew over the iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium. This was appreciated by singing and ululation from scores of people gathered around the pitch with Fifa boss Sepp Blatter, Motlanthe, CAF boss Issa Hayatou, Khoza and LOC chief Danny Jordaan.
Bafana Bafana players, together with coaching staff, also joined in and waved flags.