President Jacob Zuma said on Friday that South Africans should draw a lesson from the World Cup with regards to national unity.
“We need to draw some lessons from the World Cup experience,” said Zuma is his address to thousands at a Heritage Day event at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Friday afternoon.
He said the unity and cohesion among communities
during the tournament should be seen as a source of strength that could lead to greater achievements.
“We have learned that determination and unity of purpose are recipes and ingredients of success.”
He said South Africans had also learned they were the best organisers and the best tourist destination in the world.
“We need to use this to encourage more visitors and more international events in our country.”
Zuma said the 2010 inter-ministerial committee would present its final World Cup report to Cabinet at the end of September.
He said the report would consolidate all the lessons learned from hosting the tournament and would be used to improve the quality and speed of service delivery.
Zuma was accompanied by Arts and Culture Minister Lulu Xingwana, KwaZulu-Natal Premier
Zweli Mkhize, and Durban mayor Obed Mlaba.
Three fighter jets and two army helicopters flew over the stadium immediately after Zuma’s arrival.
DA: ANC starting to fear voters
Meanwhile, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille said on Friday there were signs that South Africa’s democracy was heading in the wrong direction.
Zille said an example of this was the proposed Protection of Information Bill.
However, there were signs that the country’s democracy was maturing, she said.
The ruling party was starting to fear the voters which was a watershed moment for SA politics, she said.
“The more the ANC fears the voters, the more it will guard against arrogance, and the more it will strive to improve its performance. This is how democracy works.”
Zille said she would be celebrating Heritage Day in George and would pay tribute to all those who had helped shape the nation.
“We should remember that it is the people not the politicians who have the power to shape the future they want. That is what a democracy is all about,” she said.
Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said in a speech delivered on his behalf by the party’s deputy secretary general Christian Msimang that he had hoped to see the unity built up during the Soccer World Cup spill over into a new dynamic.
“If soccer can unite us, why should Heritage Day still see us divided?” he said in an address delivered on his behalf by IFP’s deputy secretary general Christian Msimang, at the celebration in Durban.
He said the success of the tournament had showed South Africans what the country was capable of and that expectations had been raised.
“If we are able to do all this, our people are certainly going to ask why we are not able to address the daily challenges they face. For better or worse, our government has raised the bar, and
now, we must rise to meet it,” he said.
The Freedom Front Plus Youth said young South Africans should not be held responsible for events of the past which they had had nothing to do with.
The Afrikaner’s heritage was also an important part of South Africa’s history and should be equally protected, it said.
“The FF+ calls on the youth to be proud of their culture and history. We should learn from the past and focus on the future.”
AfriForum said South Africa’s heritage was being undermined by authorities as its cultural assets were not being maintained and conserved.
Deputy CEO of AfriForum Alana Bailey said “every community has to become involved in the conservation of its heritage. On the other hand a community cannot do this when constantly facing the obstacles placed in its way by the authorities, or when certain parts of the South African heritage is constantly being portrayed in a negative light.”
“Currently the authorities — from local and provincial, to national level — undermine the future of several cultural historical and natural treasures in the country, by means of its ambiguous messages in this regard.”
Bailey said examples of this were Winburg in the Free State and Pilgrim’s Rest in Mpumalanga and
World Heritage Sites such as the Cradle of Humankind and Mapungubwe.
Bailey said she hoped the authorities would guard against this so that there would still be a South African heritage to celebrate in future. – Sapa