Nelspruit - A 2010 FNB Countdown Clock was unveiled at the Grove Shopping Centre in Nelspruit on Wednesday, to remind residents that the FIFA World Cup which kicks off on 11 June is drawing nearer.
Mpumalanga's MEC for Sport, Culture and Recreation, Vusi Shongwe said thanked FNB for providing the clock as a token of celebrating the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
"Our hosting of the 2010 World Cup has become visible in all areas in the province and I want to ask all our people to ensure that the province is on the map by making successful preparations for the event," he said.
Shongwe ensured the delegates present that Mpumalanga's preparations were going according to plan and that the province would play its part in hosting a successful event.
Mayor Khosi Mkhonto said the 2010 FIFA Local Organising Committee (LOC) had assured them that everything would be 100 percent ready and that there was no need to panic because of the pitch that still needs to be improved at Mbombela Stadium.
"We will tackle this challenge with great confidence and I encourage local people to welcome all the visitors and protect them against crime," said Mkhonto.
FNB's provincial financial manager, Lesedi Moloto, said the company had contributed R30-million to ensure that Nelspruit hosts top-class matches.
"Last time, we unveiled a four-digit clock and today it's the two-digit one. Next time, we will be unveiling a one-digit clock.
"We want this province to shine. We are happy that everybody has shown good spirits towards the 2010 Fifa World Cup and we are adamant it will be one of the greatest sporting events the province and the country have ever seen," Moloto said.
After the FNB Countdown Clock was unveiled, a procession comprising a FIFA double-decker bus carrying VIPs and the media, led by a fire truck and traffic department vehicles, was followed on foot by hundreds of employees from the municipality.
They walked to the Civic Centre in Nelspruit, where the celebrations continued with a special concert featuring Lira, local DJs and Diski dancers.