WITH the opening and the final of the Fifa 2010 World Cup tournament taking place in Gauteng, the people of KwaZulu-Natal will get a "once-in-a-lifetime experience" when the trophy reaches the province on May 15.
Having travelled around the world in 225 days, and been seen and admired by millions of people in 86 countries, the most coveted solid gold prize in world sport will be in KZN on its final leg that will end on July 11.
On that day it will be handed over to the captain of the winning team.
"We've kept the best for last. This is probably the only time the trophy will ever visit KZN. When it arrives on 15 May it will be taken to the community with events scheduled for Durban, Umlazi, Richards Bay and Pietermaritzburg.
"Everyone will get to see the trophy up close and enjoy the wide variety of entertainment and activities on the day," said Onwell Msomi, general manager Fifa World Cup 2010 for Coca-Cola South Africa.
This is the first time the trophy has made an extended trip across the length and breadth of the host country.
It will visit 33 cities, towns and villages in a tour lasting a month. Coca-Cola wants to ensure that the largest possible number of South Africans share in World Cup fever.
"Not everybody will be able to see a World Cup match live in a stadium . but you will have an opportunity to experience the Coca-Cola Trophy Tour," Msomi said.
MEC for arts, culture, sports and recreation, Weziwe Thusi said: "It is gratifying to know that the World Cup trophy is coming to our province.
"I have no doubt that our community will turn out in droves to celebrate the event and join in the festivities that will be offered for their entertainment."
The four venues to check are:
Durban - Sun Coast Casino - May 15 from 10am to 6pm; Umlazi - Mega City - May 16 from 10am to 186pm; ·Richards Bay - Isikhaweni Community Hall - May 17 from 10am to 6pm; and Pietermaritzburg - Royal Show Grounds - May 18 from 10pm to 6pm.