Volunteers will be ‘face of SA’

6 April 2009

Volunteers will be the first and last point of contact for visitors to South Africa during the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup, Local Organising Committee CEO Danny Jordaan told over 1 000 volunteers at their first training session in Tshwane/Pretoria on Sunday.

“You will all play such a critical part in delivering this event,” Jordaan told the group at the Tshwane Events Centre. “When, as a fan, you come to an event such as the World Cup or the Confederations Cup, the first point of contact is with the volunteers at the airport.

“When the tournament is over, the last person they see is also a volunteer. The volunteers are what shape your attitude and experience of the country – it is you who will do this”.

Sindisiwe Ngcongwane, a financial systems lecturer who will be assisting in the protocol department when the Confederations Cup kicks off on 14 June, said Jordaan’s speech was “moving … You think you are doing so little, but Jordaan made me see the bigger picture.

“I want to be part of making a difference to our country and improving it,” Ngcongwane said. “Change starts with one person, and this is why I volunteered.”

David Stables, a civil engineer from Centurion, said Jordaan’s speech was “so good for the volunteers. You could see from their reaction that everyone enjoyed his presence.

“I have been passionate about football since I was a little kid, so this is really a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Stables said. “It proves that you don’t have to be a footballer to be involved in this tournament.”

For Mandla Msimanga, financial manager for the Embassy of Ireland, said: “Sometimes you need to pay back and provide your services for free. I am very excited for the tournament, and we must make things work; it is time to take responsibility.”

SAinfo reporter and the 2010 Fifa World Cup Local Organising Committee

Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material