KZN gets a slice of Confed action

KWAZULU-Natal might not be hosting any of the Confederations Cup matches - but the government has ensured that thousands of the province's residents can enjoy a slice of the action.

KWAZULU-Natal might not be hosting any of the Confederations Cup matches - but the government has ensured that thousands of the province's residents can enjoy a slice of the action.

Soccer lovers from Pietermaritzburg, Port Shepstone, Ladysmith and Richards Bay all gathered at designated venues yesterday for the opening of the Confederations Cup games and also to mark the launch of the public viewing areas (PVAs).

The PVAs, which are spearheaded by the provincial department of economic development and tourism, will be open from 9am until late in the evening for the duration of the Confederations Cup.

Big screens have been erected at the venues to ensure that the province's residents can follow the action from the stadiums.

A feast of entertainment, including award-winning DJs and top artists, has also been put together to please the crowds.

Addressing the excited crowd at the Qokololo Stadium in Pietermaritzburg yesterday, KwaZulu-Natal MEC for economic development and tourism Mike Mabuyakhulu said the idea behind the PVAs was to ensure that the people of the province were "not left behind".

"We want our people to come out in their numbers to have fun-filled days here at these PVAs," he said.

"Security has been provided to ensure that our people are safe."

Mabuyakhulu also spoke to the crowd that had gathered about the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

"KwaZulu-Natal is more than ready to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup," he said.

"The construction of the stadiums that will be used for training during the World Cup is proceeding well.

"We are on course to meet all the deadlines.

"All we are waiting for is to roll out the red carpet for those who will be visiting the province next year."

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