12 February 2010
President Jacob Zuma, delivering his State of the Nation address in Cape Town on Thursday, called on South Africans to make the 2010 Fifa World Cup a success in honour of Nelson Mandela.
Speaking during the opening of Parliament, Zuma said Mandela was central in assisting the country to win the rights to host this great event.
Mandela was part of the delegation that presented South Africa’s bid to the Fifa executive, and was present on 15 May 2004 when Fifa president Sepp Blatter announced that South Africa had won the bid to host the World Cup.
“We therefore have to make the World Cup a huge success in his honour,” Zuma said.
Quoting from Mandela’s historic speech at the Rivonia treason trial, Zuma said all South Africans should recommit themselves to reconciliation, national unity, non-racialism and building a better future together.
“Let us work together to make this year of action a successful one for our country.”
World Cup: everything on track
With under 120 days to go before the World Cup kicks off, Zuma said everything was on track for a successful event.
“We have spent many years planning for this World Cup … The infrastructure, security and logistics arrangements are in place to ensure a successful tournament.”
South Africans should get behind the national team, Bafana Bafana, but most important of all they should buy tickets now to attend the games, he said.
The fourth round of ticket sales started this week, with over 400 000 tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis. The sale will run for 58 days and end on 7 April.
Fans can apply for the tickets on www.fifa.com/2010 or (South African residents only) at FNB branches.