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South African Embassy, Berlin
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FIFA World Cup 2010, Politics, Topnews, Press...

05. January 2010

2010 a year of national unity, says Zuma

President Jacob Zuma says 2010 is the year for South Africans to renew their commitment to national unity. "Together we must make 2010 the year in which we renew our commitment to national unity and nation building," Zuma said in a statement earlier today.

January 1, 2010, he said would mark the beginning of the most important year in the country's history since 1994, with the Fifa Soccer World Cup the impetus behind nation building and economic recovery. "The year 2010 must be the year in which for the first time, we  all communicate positive messages about our country to the world on the successes and possibilities.

"We have to put the culture of negativity behind us." Political parties, traditional leaders, business, labour, youth,  sports bodies, women, media, religious leaders and other sectors should put their efforts in ensuring the success of the tournament.

"Together as all South Africans, we must make this one of the most successful projects we have ever undertaken as a nation." The World Cup must revive the spirit of unity as the Rugby World Cup did in 1995.

It should serve as a reminder that there was a lot to celebrate about the country. "It must be a year in which we put South Africa first, and take forward our collective mission to shape this country into one of the most successful constitutional democracies in the world," Zuma said.

The World Cup, he said, had helped the country cushion the negative effects of a recessionary economy as thousands of people had been employed and trained during the construction of stadiums and other related infrastructure.
"It [the tournament] must contribute to long-term economic growth and the creation of decent jobs." Citizens had a duty to welcome visitors and soccer teams to the country during the tournament. "We must all be active ambassadors of our country," he said.

The success of Bafana Bafana in the tournament depended on the support they get from all South Africans. "Most importantly, we must make 2010 an exciting and most enjoyable year for all of us. Happy New Year and Happy 2010 Soccer World Cup to you all," Zuma said. - Sapa

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