2010 countdown not business as usual for Joburg

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sandton - Joburgers on Tuesday took a break from their busy schedules, donned their Bafana Bafana jerseys and kicked back with the rest of the country to celebrate the 100 days countdown to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

BuaNews spoke to some of the excited South Africans who gathered at the 100 days countdown celebration on Maude Street, Sandton, on Tuesday.

Thami Makhaya, wearing his Bafana jersey and sporting a vuvuzela, spoke of the long road to 2010, beginning with the country winning the bid in 2004 to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Makhaya, who was confident that South Africa will host the best soccer event ever, said it's been a long and exciting road for the country.

He believed the tournament would go a long way in helping South Africans look beyond their differences.

"This World Cup will unite this country. I think once people realise just how big this event is, they will look beyond the differences and unite as South Africans to show the world what we can offer as a nation.

"We have travelled a long journey as a country and this is an opportunity to take yet another step forward."

The Khan family of four, who where dressed up for the occasion, said they came to Maude Street to support their country.

"It is important for us be part of this historic occasion ... All of Africa is supporting South Africa. The World Cup is already a success because it has shown that Africa is capable," said Suraya Khan.

2010 will undoubtedly go down in the history books as one of this country's most memorable moments, she said.

For Josef Mkhabinde, the World Cup is about the legacy it will leave behind. "It's what Africa has been dreaming about ... I approach the tournament with confidence. Our stadiums are ready, our transport and security plans have been fine-tuned. I can assure you we will not disappoint because we are a loving nation."

The world will descend on South African shores on 11 June - more than six years after the country was chosen as hosts - to witness the world's greatest sporting event held for the first time on African soil.