Cape Town - The success of the 2010 Final Draw is a glimpse of the flair and professionalism which South Africa will deliver to the world during the World Cup, says Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.
"I trust that the success of the Final Draw has provided you with a strong sense of the passion, flair and professionalism with which South Africa is preparing itself for the historic first FIFA World Cup tournament in Africa," he said at the first World Press Day on Saturday.
Motlanthe, who also chairs the Inter-Ministerial Committee which is tasked to oversee government's preparation for the tournament, told international and local press that government remains confident that the country will host the best World Cup ever.
The World Press Day was organised by FIFA to outline and discuss the role of the media in making the World Cup better, not only for next year but for other coming tournaments. The conference also outlined the opportunities and challenges of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Motlanthe said government and South Africa recognises and appreciates the role play of the media in creating abuzz and informing the world about the preparations of the World Cup.
"By being here today, we recognise the important role that you play in creating excitement among people around the world and informing them about the build-up to an event that is important both for South Africa and the continent of Africa itself.
"Your words, pictures, sounds and blogs enable millions of people around the world to understand the opportunities and challenges presented by our hosting this glorious event," Motlanthe said.
Motlanthe also called on media and people in general to focus on the excitement and the buzz that a tournament of this magnitude brings.
He said when it comes to assessing South Africa's readiness for hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the focus has changed dramatically.
"The question is no longer whether or not the stadiums will be ready on time; but how the stadiums will showcase our technological and architectural excellence to the world.
"We now no longer talk in general terms. We have entered a period in which we talk action, specifics, numbers and deadlines.
"This is also a period during which the focus is shifting to the most important actors in the FIFA World Cup, the players, the teams, the fans and the administrators of the game," he said.
He said South Africans are looking forward to open their hearts and homes, their pubs and clubs, their airports and harbours, and their sites of cultural and natural heritage to the hundreds of thousands of visitors expected to descend to the country next year.