27 September 2010
The 2010 Fifa World Cup was one of the greatest achievements of post-apartheid South Africa, President Jacob Zuma said at the national Heritage Day celebrations at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium on Friday.
While acknowledging the economic and infrastructural achievements around the World Cup, the President said Heritage Day 2010 was a day for South Africans to celebrate their contribution to the promotion of the country to the world “as a bastion of peace, stability, progress and unity.
“The wearing of Bafana Bafana jerseys and the display of the rainbow flags everywhere in our country by patriotic South Africans will forever be part of our heritage,” Zuma said.
The unity experienced in South Africa had been the highlight of the tournament, showing the potential for further nation building.
“The fact that so many white South Africans, young and old, filled the stadiums to celebrate the soccer tournament, while black people flocked to Orlando Stadium [in Soweto] before the World Cup to celebrate rugby, shows that we have not even begun to harness the potential for creating a common national identity”.
The World Cup had also played a role in promoting African unity. “The support provided to Ghana and all African teams indicated that South Africans realize that the country is an integral part of the continent,” Zuma said.
“Therefore, our national days such as Freedom Day, Heritage Day, Youth Day, and Women’s Day should become more focused celebrations of the ushering in of freedom and democracy in our country, and the promoting of building a common future”.