Let the games begin: Zuma says SA is ready for Afcon

Even though South Africa arranged to host the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) in a short period of time it would not let Africa down, President Jacob Zuma said on Saturday.

"As all of us know, the country which had made a successful bid to host the 2013 Afcon was Libya. But because of the political situation that prevailed for most of last year the Confederation of African Football decided to move it to this country," Zuma said in a speech prepared for delivery.

"We therefore accepted this responsibility and honour with deep gratitude, as it is a great privilege for us to host this feast of African football expertise."

Zuma was addressing heads of state attending the tournament at a luncheon at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg.

He said the preparations put in place for the 2010 soccer world cup had eased the burden for South Africa.

"We are seeing dividends in the infrastructure investment we made before the 2010 World Cup, as these facilities will continue to benefit us and the continent in various ways in many years to come."

Zuma welcomed all the heads of state to the country and invited them and the fans to explore the country between games.

"I trust that you will be treated to the best soccer spectacle humanly possible, starting from this afternoon's opening game.

"May this be yet another memorable event for all of you … and may the best team win this afternoon, and obviously in my view, that should be my national squad, Bafana Bafana," Zuma said. – Sapa.

Follow the M&G's live blog Inside the Stadium to catch all the action from the continent's biggest soccer tournament.


These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Sapa
Guest Author
Crispian Balmer
Crispian Balmer works from Rome. Reuters' chief correspondent, Italy, based in Rome. Previously in Jerusalem, Paris, Milan and Madrid. Comments are my own, not Reuters etc etc. Crispian Balmer has over 4856 followers on Twitter.
Advertising

Where is the deputy president?

David Mabuza is hard at work — it’s just not taking place in the public eye. The rumblings and discussion in the ANC are about factions in the ruling party, succession and ousting him

Zuma turns on judiciary as trial nears

Former president says pre-trial correspondence is part of another plot

SANDF inquiry clears soldiers of the death of Collins Khosa

The board of inquiry also found that it was Khosa and his brother-in-law Thabiso Muvhango who caused the altercation with the defence force members

Lockdown relief scheme payouts to employees tops R14-billion

Now employers and employees can apply to the Unemployment Insurance Fund for relief scheme payments
Advertising

Press Releases

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

Wills, Estate Administration and Succession Planning Webinar

Capital Legacy has had no slowdown in lockdown regarding turnaround with clients, in storing or retrieving wills and in answering their questions

Call for Expression of Interest: Training supply and needs assessment to support the energy transition in South Africa

GIZ invites eligible and professional companies with local presence in South Africa to participate in this tender to support the energy transition

Obituary: Mohammed Tikly

His legacy will live on in the vision he shared for a brighter more socially just future, in which racism and discrimination are things of the past

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday