Durban – The new King Shaka International Airport should encourage new opportunities for growth in business and tourism, said President Jacob Zuma while launching the airport on Saturday.
“At provincial and local government level, now is the time to encourage new investment in tourism products that are prized and attractive for foreign visitors,” said Zuma.
Zuma said the airport was a missing piece of the puzzle to enable growth and development for KwaZulu-Natal and the country.
“Durban was the only city that lacked the aviation infrastructure that was able to accommodate international flights,” Zuma said.
Zuma congratulated Premier Zweli Mkhize and other political parties in the province for their support in building the airport.
Zuma also said he wanted to thank 8 000 workers who built the facility.
The airport was a huge economic boost for areas such as Verulam, Tongaat and Stanger.
Attending the function was Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele, Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande.
Ndebele said that after the 2010 FIFA World Cup the public would be consulted on what to do with the old airport.
On Saturday a statute of King Shaka Zulu was also unveiled at the new airport.