16 February 2009
A grand lighting ceremony was held on the weekend at Durban’s 80 000-seater Moses Mabhida Stadium, a host stadium for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, to mark the completion of its iconic arch.
Speaking at the ceremony, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sbu Ndebele said the completion of the arch symbolised more than just an architectural, engineering and construction milestone.
“It is a celebration of teams working together to create not only an architectural and engineering masterpiece, but to physically create an icon that symbolises and spans years of history, years of hope, and years of work to let all South Africans feel the pulse of unification,” he said.
African World Cup
Ndebele said that South Africa, as the host of the upcoming World Cup, did not stand as a country alone, but rather as a representative of Africa, and would ensure that the tournament was an African event – one that would help spread confidence and prosperity across the entire continent.
“We remain committed towards ensuring that the legacy is for Africa, South Africa, and the localities in which the World Cup will be played,” he said.
As the backbone for the Kings Park Sporting Precinct, the stadium is designed to be a multi-functional, easy-to-maintain asset for the city municipality.
By hosting major sporting and other events, the city aims to attract investment and employment in terms of its “2010 and beyond” economic development strategy.
“This accomplishment has tremendously increased the awareness of our new landmark facility, and will start positioning the stadium not only as an icon of Durban, but will also confirm to the world that we are, indeed, Africa’s sporting and events capital,” Ndebele said.