Speaking Notes for the Deputy President, Kgalema Motlanthe, on the Occasion of the 'Football Friday' Activation at the Union Buildings, Pretoria
30 October 2009
My Cabinet Colleagues;
Leadership of the Local Organising Committee;
Leadership of the International Marketing Council;
Stakeholders of the 2010 National Communication Partnership;
Other dignitaries present here today;
All Presidency Staff; and
Fellow South Africans:
A special welcome and greetings to all members of the media and sport reporters who are important partners in our quest to deliver the most successful soccer tournament on the African continent.
On behalf of the 2010 Inter-Ministerial Committee and the broader government, I wish to congratulate all the teams that have so far qualified to participate in the 2010 FIFA World Cup to be hosted here in South Africa. We have 223 days to go before we kick-off the tournament.
We look forward to welcoming all the teams, football lovers and visitors from all corners of the world who will join us as we celebrate the first FIFA World Cup on the African soil.
Moreover, we are proud to have noted some African teams amongst those that have already qualified. The Black Stars of Ghana and the Elephants of the Ivory Coast and Bafana Bafana, who automatically qualified as Host Nation, have already booked their space to play in this historic tournament.
Today we are gathered here to celebrate the positive spirit with which all of us anticipate the first African FIFA World Cup.
We just came out of a meeting of the 2010 Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) and based on the reports that we have been receiving as well as evidence on the ground -- all indications are that, indeed, "Ke Nako: Africa's Time Has Come."
We are therefore using the Football Friday occasion to reiterate government's commitment to the success of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and we would like to make the call to all South Africans, especially public servants, to wear football jerseys every Friday in anticipation of this great celebration coming our way next year.
I urge all of you to learn the diski dance as part of being a good host and prepare to welcome the world in a celebratory style. It also has long-term health benefits!
Ladies and gentlemen,
Government is fully behind initiatives by the multi-sectoral 2010 National Communication Partnership (2010 NCP) - and all other stakeholders - to profile and popularise our preparations for the World Cup. The Football Friday concept is one such initiative that government fully supports.
From our side, as the leadership of government, we are working together with the 2010 Organising Committee to ensure that we not only deliver on all the guarantees that we have made to FIFA, but also that, in doing so, we pursue our social compact with ordinary South Africans.
So far, we are impressed with the overall progress and we have no doubt that the World Cup will be a runaway success.
As the last few national football teams across the world battle it out to book their places in this historic tournament, here in South Africa we are noticing impressive progress: All the stadiums are up and looking great, work on supporting infrastructure is also looking impressive - and there is no turning back.
Over the past 10 years we have successfully delivered more than 140 international events and conferences - and our track record in this regard speaks for itself.
After the successful completion of one of these events, the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2001, the United Nations adopted South Africa's security plan as a blueprint for its future conferences.
Earlier this year, South Africa maintained its high standards when it successfully hosted several international events. While extensive planning was underway for our 2009 General Elections, the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, the British and Irish Lions Tour and the Tri-Nations Cup, South Africa hosted the Indian Premier League in a short space of time.
Taking into consideration the lessons learnt during the Confederations Cup, we are beefing up our preparations in such areas as transportation and security.
Phase one of the Bus Rapid Transport system is already operational in Johannesburg.
With all the monuments before us, this country will never be the same again after this event!
But over and above the major infrastructural facelift, what we would like to see is this event changing perceptions about the African continent and instilling a sense of pride in Africans' ability to get major things done, and done competently.
Hence the Football Friday campaign, which, amongst its objectives, aims to encourage all South Africans to fly the National Flag with pride, learn the National Anthem and be proud hosts of the world soccer enthusiasts.
Ladies and gentlemen,
With regard to security, government has dedicated R1 305 million for the deployment of 41,000 police officers including 10,000 reservists. These officers will be supported by a further 10,000 members from other government departments that form part of the Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (JOINTS).
Dedicated crime investigation teams and special courts will be set up to investigate and deal with all soccer-related crimes on a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week basis. To date our investment to transport is R11 728 million. I have no doubt that when the last whistle blows our country and continent will never be the same again.
These courts as well as dedicated police stations will be in all host cities closest to the venues where matches will be played, making processing and prosecutions much quicker, especially if or when a foreigner is affected.
We have every confidence in our security establishment to secure this event.
There are many other legacy projects which one could speak about. Tomorrow, on 31 October 2009, I am visiting parts of the City of Johannesburg municipality to see for myself some of these. I urge all South Africans to embrace these projects and treat them as gifts to generations to come.
To all the public servants, the message is clear: use this opportunity to renew your commitment to the service of the public. Fly the Flag for South Africa by diligently being at work on time, performing and prudently applying public resources. Turn this country into caring and prosperous society that we all want and deserve to live in!
I wish to reiterate government's support of the Fly the Flag for South Africa campaign and look forward to seeing more and more South Africans participate in this important initiative.
This is our moment, our time to shine! Ke nako!!!!!
I thank you.