Address by Nelson Mandela at the farewell banquet for 2010 Bid Committee, Johannesburg

10 May 2004

Mister Deputy President
Members of the Cabinet
SAFA President Molefi Oliphant
Chairperson of the Bid Company Ivan Khoza
Chief Executive of the Bid Company Danny Jordaan
Distinguished Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen

I had the honour this morning to address Parliament as part of our national celebration of the dawn of our second decade of democracy. It was a joyous occasion, with former President F W de Klerk also invited to speak. On behalf of the nation Parliament remembered where we come from and how far we have progressed in the span of ten years.

We indeed have much to be proud of and grateful for. We now live in a stable and inclusive democracy under a Constitution that is the envy of many the world over. Our nation has come together in non-racial unity that surprised the world. Our economy is sound even though we may wish for more growth and more jobs. Our tourism industry is booming as more and more visitors seek out the beauty and comforts of our land.

We indeed have much to celebrate after a decade of living peacefully together in our thriving democracy.

There could be few better gifts to us in this year of our celebration than to be awarded the 2010 Soccer World Cup. I join you this evening from that celebration in Cape Town in the morning, confident in the belief that your delegation departs tomorrow to go and fetch that celebratory gift for the nation.

You have received a very good report from FIFA’s technical team and that should further encourage and inspire us in our conviction that this time we shall be successful in our bid.

The benefits to our country will be enormous. Over 150 thousand jobs will be created. Around 400 thousand visitors are expected to come to the country for the soccer over the 43 days of the tournament. R 3 billion will be added to GDP.

Clearly we all stand to gain as a nation. Hence the massive support of the nation for this bid. We want you to be assured that you depart tomorrow with the full blessing of the people of the country.

We have proven over and over that we can host and stage big international events, sporting and otherwise. We are ready for Soccer World Cup 2010 and now only wait for FIFA’s final nod that we can go ahead full steam with our preparations.

This has been a typically South African national effort, with sport, government, business, labour and civil society combining and taking hands to make the bid succeed and bring honour to our land.

I congratulate all who had been involved and who worked so hard to bring us up to this final point.

Together with a celebrating nation I wish our delegation well. We know that we deserve it and that we can do it!

Go well and you will be in our thoughts constantly.

I thank you.

Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation