Statement by Premier Nomvula Mokonyane at the media breakfast session to reflect on the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Sandton
1 Jul 2010
We are approaching the climax of the world's greatest sporting festival, the first to be hosted on the African soil. Since the start of the world cup on 11 June 2010, the world has been entertained by some of the most exhilarating football, featuring the world's best football players.
With all quarter final places having been confirmed we are now ready for heart stopping action involving the top eight teams of the world cup.
Undoubtedly, Gauteng, as the epicentre of the world cup has been a great host. At this stage, we can say without any fear of contradiction that the 2010 FIFA World Cup is a resounding success.
The people of Gauteng have done everything to make our visitors feel at home in this beautiful province. Our visitors have enjoyed our warm hospitality and have had time to sample our delicious cuisine and great entertainment.
As it would be expected with events of this magnitude, there were some glitches at the start of the world cup relating to traffic management. The traffic flow problems were caused largely by people who travel to the stadiums using their own vehicles instead of public transport.
Logistically it is just not practical to accommodate thousands of cars on the roads leading to the stadia in a short space of time. We have looked at this matter of traffic flow with FIFA and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and agreed on appropriate steps to improve the situation.
Since then, we have implemented stricter traffic management measures during match days. These measures include closing certain roads near match venues at least four hours before kickoff and prohibiting private vehicles except those transporting FIFA officials and dignitaries from driving near the match venue.
We have noted great improvement since we implemented these measures. Many people are now using public transport in the form of trains, busses and minibuses and they arrive on time and safely to and from the match venues.
We will continue to monitor the situation very closely and if it becomes necessary we will apply further measures to ensure that traffic does not become a headache for the remainder of the world cup.
The closing ceremony and the final at Soccer City on 11 July is the next biggest world cup event. The Gauteng provincial government working together with the host cities, FIFA and the Local Organising Committee will pull out all stops to ensure that this event becomes a spectacular success.
Law enforcement agencies will act decisively against anyone disobeying the World Cup traffic management regulations. The success of the world cup could not have been possible without the support of the masses of our people. They came out in large numbers to attend the matches at stadiums and others flocked to the fan parks and public viewing areas.
Hosting the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup tournament has proved to be a unifying factor for South Africans across cultural and racial lines and we encourage our people to continue to embrace this unifying factor.
This tournament has enabled South Africans of different cultures, races, religion and creed to learn more about their neighbours, helping foster national understanding and strengthening the building of a united South Africa.
Despite our national team's early exit, the people of Gauteng continue to support the world cup. As true Africans we are throwing our weight behind the Black Stars of Ghana who now have the responsibility of representing the continent in the remaining stages of the world cup.
Perhaps it is fitting as former President Thabo Mbeki has suggested that we call them the Black Stars of Africa. On Friday when the Black Stars step onto the field to face Uruguay, they will do so knowing very well that they carry the hopes and aspirations of the whole of Africa.
Victory for Ghana is victory for Africa and will confirm that this is indeed Africa's time not only to host the world cup but also to win it.
Go for it Black Stars! Show the world that Africa can do it, make your continent proud!
It's Africa's time!
Issued by: Gauteng Office of the Premier
1 Jul 2010
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