Khoza tells South Africans

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

South Africa and neighbouring countries celebrated the 1000th day before kickoff of the 2010 Fifa World Cup finals with a number of functions last Saturday.

And in a vibrant event at Durban's King's Park stadium, Irvin Khoza, chairman of the Local Organising Committee, reiterated his earlier statements that this was going to be the best World Cup ever.

But Khoza said for that to be a reality, South Africans must own the tournament.

"This is an opportunity to showcase to the world that we have skills and the know-how, that Africa is capable of hosting the best ever World Cup," he said.

Khoza said Durban was selected to host the draw for the qualifiers in November, because the city complied with all Fifa requirements, "but most importantly because of its willingness and the province's preparedness".

He said it was important that South Africans fine-tune their services to send a positive message to the world.

"When they come here, our terminals, our hotels must be welcoming and a simple smile might be what is needed.

"Our volunteer programme is vital and the people working as volunteers must be prepared to work 25 hours a day," he said.

Khoza said our transport system should be in order, and people like, taxi, bus and train drivers are expected to play a significant role in ensuring the smooth running of the tournament.

"They should offer service with a smile, show a positive attitude towards tourists because without them, the tournament won't be successful," he said.

Premier Sbu Ndebele said KwaZulu-Natal is ready and well positioned to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup games.

"KwaZulu-Natal is the home of international events and anything successful is hosted in KwaZulu-Natal," said Ndebele.

"2010 will be a major catalyst for further enhancing our image and growing our economy and tourism potential so people come back to our shores in 2010 and well beyond."