South Africa: ‘make the 2010 mindshift’

18 August 2009

It is time for all South Africans to realise the enormity of the opportunities being generated through the 2010 Fifa World Cup, and to make the “psychological adjustment” needed to ensure the tournament’s success, says 2010 Local Organising Committee chairman Irvin Khoza.

Speaking at the 2010 National Communication Partnership conference in Johannesburg on Monday, Khoza said South Africans had to think of the World Cup as a live, 30-day advertisement for the country that would be watched by a cumulative TV audience of billions around the globe.

“The extent to which the tournament changes lives will be largely determined by the degree to which [the country’s communicators] use the tournament,” Khoza said.

He referred both to the progress that had already been made, represented by the building of six new stadiums in less than four years, and to the potential legacy that would be generated in terms of job creation, tourism, trade and investment.

“We must be relentlessly positive,” Khoza told the gathering of marketing and communication professionals, from both the public and private sector. “As South Africans, we have a tendency to be self-critical. We should see everything in perspective and, importantly, see the positive stories.

“There is one show on the road at the moment, and a psychological adjustment from all South Africans is needed.

“You must feel that there is something happening in this country. The banners you use must be larger than life. Every street corner must be filled. We must feel that this show is in town,” Khoza said.

At the same time, South Africa 2010 had to be “pan-African”, to tell the story of a continent that is being redefined in a historic way. “This tournament must ensure that our African teams feel like they are playing at home.”

SAinfo reporter

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