Through the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, we can reposition South Africa and Africa and in so doing create the ultimate legacy from this defining moment.
17 August 2009, Johannesburg – At the fourth and final 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ communicators’ conference, hosted today by the National Communications Partnership (NCP), speakers including Minister of Transport, Mr. Sibusiso Ndebele and Dr. Irvin Khoza, Chairperson of the 2010 FIFA Organising Committee called for all South Africans and Africans to come together to ensure that we host an event that will be talked about by generations to come.
“As a country and continent, we will need to pull together. The 2010 FIFA World Cup calls for unity of our people because together we can do more,” said Minister Ndebele.
Dr. Irvin Khoza said that South Africans must realise the enormity of the opportunities that are being generated through the tournament. The World Cup will be delivered on a far bigger scale than the Confederations Cup. To date, for example over 14 000 applications have been received for the volunteer programme.
According to Khoza, the psychological readiness of the nation is critical. “There is one show in town at the moment and a psychological adjustment from all South Africans is needed.”
Khoza said that South Africans need to be thinking of the World Cup as a 30 day commercial for the country that will be watched by billions around the globe. “The extent to which the tournament changes lives will be largely determined by the degree to which we use the tournament to grow beyond 2010.”
The 11th June 2010, with the opening of the World Cup is arguably South Africa’s next defining moment. Historically, we have successfully hosted Rugby and Cricket World Cups, continental and global football tournaments, global conferences and four peaceful democratic elections, but never anything on a scale that is arguably larger than the Olympics.
Khoza affirmed that the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee has a very good understanding of what is needed for next year’s event. “We must be relentlessly positive,” he said. “As South Africans, we have the tendency to be self critical. We should see everything in perspective and importantly, see the positive stories.”
He referred to outstanding progress that has been made by 2010 FIFA Organising Committee over the past five years, through the building of six new stadiums in less than four years and the potential legacy that will be generated in terms of job creation, tourism, trade and investment.
“We must be proactive and shape the narrative – not merely reacting to everything being said by the media,” he added. The 2010 story is one of a continent that is being redefined in a historic way.
“We need to think beyond borders” Khoza concluded. “South Africa 2010 must be pan-African in word, thought and deed, as we stage a tournament that inspires and empowers Africa.” This tournament must ensure that our African teams feel like they are playing at home, as we celebrate Africa’s home-grown heroes.”
From Cape to Cairo, Khoza reiterated that Africa must stand together as never before – to create a sweet chorus singing the same song in perfect harmony.
“This World Cup is the real thing. 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 the only show in town,” Khoza concluded.
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