Government spokesperson Themba Maseko said today, Friday 11 June 2010, marks a significant milestone in the history of post-apartheid South Africa.
“The kick-off of the 2010 FIFA World Cup later today is a culmination of 16 years of hard work, inspired by the vision of the founding president of a free and democratic South Africa, Nelson Mandela.
“As the historic tournament gets underway, government is fully satisfied that the country is ready all round. The last team to arrive, Spain, lands today and then history begins.
“Government has fulfilled all its obligations, working together with the Organising Committee to ensure that the country’s overall state of readiness for this, the biggest sporting event in the world, meets FIFA requirements.
“Government commends the South African population for their support both during the past six years of preparations for the event and in the run-up to the kick-off.
“The recent display of a new sense of national pride augurs well for nation-building, and it is also a reassuring sign to international visitors that South Africans are warm and welcoming.
“Today’s opening match at Soccer City marks the beginning of the changing of the script on Africa. The success of the 2010 FIFA World Cup will change perceptions and challenge stereotypes on Africa.
“It is now up to South Africans to become good hosts, sustain the current positive climate and make a resounding success of this African World Cup. Ke Nako: Celebrate Africa’s Humanity,” concluded Maseko.
For enquires please contact
Cell: 083 645 0810
Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)