Leaders promote World Cup overseas

KWAZULU-NATAL government leaders have embarked on a world-wide trip to invite international tourists to be part of the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

Last week the leaders were in the US and the UK to interest visitors in the province for 2010.

Speaking yesterday in Buenos Aires, Argentina, provincial MEC for local government and traditional affairs Nomusa Dube said the 2010 World Cup would leave a lasting legacy beyond the value of soccer.

It would ensure that there were sustainable permanent jobs, particularly in the construction and tourism sectors.

She said 2010 would provide a great catalyst for economic development and would give a big boost to the country's tourism.

"It will bring a significant improvement in infrastructure development, enhanced trade relations between world economies and South Africa and growth in foreign investment. It will change the way in which we look at sport," Dube said.

She said the event was more than just a game but was a business in itself and a facilitator of enterprise for the nation.

"The effect of the World Cup will be felt long after the final whistle is blown in Johannesburg on July 11," she said.

Dube said among the elements of the legacy were infrastructure development of high magnitude, facility upgrades, small business and enterprise development and a lasting shot in the arm for tourism.

She said interest in the country would grow beyond just the game.

"People are looking at a host of issues that characterise South Africa and that will be the stage for what is by far the world's biggest sport," dube said.