Festival of lights: a colourful display of fireworks lit up the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday night.
Fireworks were the order of the night when the lighting of the arch above the Moses Mabhida Stadium was celebrated in Durban on Saturday.
The whoâ€™s who in the political and soccer fraternity were present at the ceremony on Saturday. Local Organising Committee chairman Irvin Khoza, Sports Minister Makhenkesi Stofile, Premier Sâ€™bu Ndebele, and MEC Zweli Mkhize were among the dignitaries at the glittering event.
Ndebele said the completion of the arch symbolised unity.
â€œIt 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, hope and work â€“ to let all South Africans feel the pulse of unification,â€ he said.
â€œSouth Africa is ready to host the 2010 Fifa World Cup. KwaZulu- Natal and Durban are ready to host the 2010 Fifa World Cup.â€
Ndebele said South Africa was poised to make the 2010 World Cup an African event â€“ one that will help spread confidence and prosperity across the entire continent.
â€œAs hosts of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, South Africa stands not as a country alone â€“ but as a representative of Africa, and as part of an African family of nations,â€ he said.
The stadium is named after one of the countryâ€™s most iconic struggle leaders, Moses Mabhida.
In 2006 the provincial government went to Mozambique and brought back the remains of Mabhida. He was laid to rest outside Pietermaritzburg.
Ndebele hailed the eThekwini municipality, saying the city was on track to complete the iconic stadium that will serve as a symbol of pride.
â€œWe celebrate the completion of the stadium arch, which is a proudly South African architectural, engineering and construction milestone.
AUTHOR: Canaan Mdletshe
DATED: 16th February 2009