Sporting events boost SA social cohesion

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma says the successful hosting of major international sporting events has helped to boost social cohesion and unity in South Africa.

“Over the past 20 years, we have hosted a number of international sporting and cultural visits, which has helped to boost social cohesion and unity.

“In the past five years, South Africa hosted the highly successful 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup and other key soccer, rugby and cricket tournament, which left a tangible feeling of pride and unity among all South Africans,” he said.

The President was delivering his sixth State of the Nation Address to a joint sitting of Parliament on Thursday.

In 2009, South Africa successfully hosted the Confederations Cup, a rehearsal before the highly successful 2010 FIFA World Cup.

In 2013 and 2014, the country maintained its organising and hosting track record by successfully hosting the Africa Nations Cup (Afcon) and the CHAN tournaments respectively.   

With regard to the celebrations of 20 years of freedom and democracy, the President said the nation will celebrate this milestone having done well in building a new heritage landscape for the country.

He said a number of new museums and monuments were established, including the statue of former President Mandela, which has become a landmark at the Union Buildings.

“More than 2 000 geographical names have been changed in order to correct the ill-naming of places, as well as to give communities the right to determine the names of their areas,” he said. 

South Africans will on 27 April 2014 celebrate 20 years of freedom and democracy. The day will mark two decades since South Africans of all races voted in the country’s first free and fair election, ushering in a new democratic dispensation. -