Zuma lauds stadium workers

Durban's world-class 2010 World Cup venue, Moses Mabhida Stadium, is not just a sports ground but also a tourist attraction, President Jacob Zuma told its construction workers at the weekend.

The 70000-seater stadium is almost 70percent complete and is expected to be finished in November, way ahead of schedule.

Zuma visited the stadium on Saturday to inspect progress on the venues for next year's World Cup.

"This is more than just a stadium, but (also) a tourist attraction. It's a wonder for Durban and the whole country," he said.

"I used to walk around here as a little boy wearing khaki shorts to look at airplanes taking off when it was still the Durban International Airport. I am happy to see all these changes in my lifetime."

He paid tribute to the workers who, he said, had demonstrated courage and worked hard to achieve "what many doubted we could do".

He said many sceptics had doubted South Africa's abilities when it won the bid to host the World Cup.

"But today you have proved to the whole world that we can do it. We have the capacity and even Fifa president Sepp Blatter has said so."