Union Buildings rocked by sound of vuvuzelas

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pretoria - The sound of vuvuzelas rocked the Union Buildings on Friday, where Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and various cabinet ministers, dressed in Bafana Bafana jerseys, launched the Football Friday Campaign.

It was an extraordinary occasion at the seat of government where usually protocol is the order of the day.

Ministers such as Justice and Constitutional Development's Jeff Radebe, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, Sports Minister Makhenkesi Stofile as well as the Deputy President himself blew their vuvuzelas and danced South Africa's own "diski dance".

The Western Lawn was painted green and gold colours as government officials, 2010 FIFA World Cup stakeholders and senior government officials gathered to show support for the national team and to join government in mobilising the public to adopt the Football Friday initiate.

This initiative aims to build support and enthusiasm as the countdown to Africa's first World Cup gains momentum.

It also aims to encourage South Africans to wear the jersey of the national football team, Bafana Bafana, every Friday until the start of the World Cup in June next year.

Addressing the event, Motlanthe said government would use this initiative to reiterate government's commitment to the success of the World Cup.

"We would like to make the call to all South Africans, especially public servants to wear a football jersey every Friday in anticipation of this great celebration coming our way next year."

He further urged South Africans to learn the diski dance as part of being a good host and preparing to welcome the world in a celebratory style. He added that the doing the dance would have long-term health benefits.

He said government was impressed with the overall progress and had no doubt that the World Cup would be a runaway success.

"As the last few national football teams across the world battle it out in qualifiers to book their places in the 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," said Motlanthe.

He said government was working together with the 2010 Organising Committee to ensure that South Africa not only delivers on all the guarantees made to FIFA.

Former Bafana Bafana Captain and 2010 World Cup Ambassador, Lucas Radebe, urged South Africans to participate in the Football Friday campaign.

"By wearing our shirt every Friday, we will not only show the sense patriotism but also encouraging the national team to do well. Let's all support this campaign and rally behind Bafana Bafana because they need us as the nation," he said at the event.

The event was also attended by members of the 2010 Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) chaired by Motlanthe, LOC boss Danny Jordaan, SAFA President Kirsten Nematandani, LOC Chairman Irvin Khoza and football enthusiasts.