Ethekwini toast of thousands

ALL ROADS led to Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium yesterday when President Jacob Zuma, world leaders, celebrities and thousands of soccer fans turned up to watch Germany take on Spain in the World Cup semifinal.

ALL ROADS led to Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium yesterday when President Jacob Zuma, world leaders, celebrities and thousands of soccer fans turned up to watch Germany take on Spain in the World Cup semifinal.

Hotels, restaurants and other outlets experienced a bumper trade as more than 60000 soccer fans flocked to the city.

The province rolled out the red carpet to welcome visitors with blaring vuvuzelas, song and dance.

Flags of both countries were raised high as locals went the extra mile to welcome guests at all corners of the province.

The Fifa Fan Fest and provincial public viewing areas throughout the province proved to be a great attraction for locals and visitors.

Security was tight as police and security agencies prepared for the hundreds of key dignitaries including famous Hollywood, Bollywood and other celebrities.

Among these were Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Jane Pillay, a manager at the Durban Chamber of Commerce, said though they did not have final figures of the visiting fans, accommodation in and around the city was fully booked.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Phindile Hadebe said more than 5000 police officers had been deployed in the province.

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