20 January 2013

South Africa: Statement By Minister Mbalula On an Incident Free Opening Ceremony and the First Games of the 2013 Orange Afcon Tournament

press release

Ladies and gentlemen of the media welcome.

Eight months ago the South African Football Association (SAFA) and the government of the Republic of South Africa established the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2013 Local Organising Committee (LOC) to develop a strategic plan to host the 2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations tournament in South Africa from 19 January to 10 February 2013.

In the strategy and the implementation plan; key strategic tasks where evident for the success organisation and hosting of the 2013 AFCON in our country.

The following are, among other things, the key strategic tasks for the hosting of the successful AFCON tournament in South Africa:

  • Open bidding for possible host cities
  • Visit all host cities
  • Lobby and mobilise host cities to implement the plan for AFCON
  • Joint Planning with host cities including communications and marketing plans
  • Have an achievable plan for ticket sales

Host the AFCON.

The above involved a parallel strategy to mobilise all strategic stakeholders and sectors of society to assist in planning and implementation of the plan to organise and host the successful African extravaganza.

On 2 May 2012 Cabinet of the Republic of South Africa announced its support for the hosting of the 2013 AFCON in South Africa.

The rainy conditions that took over our country yesterday ahead of the continental showpiece under the banner of the Orange African Nations Cup, South Africa 2013 did not deter football loving Africans to watch the glamorous Opening Ceremony and the beautiful game of football at the National Stadium.

Government has invested lot of resources in the Afcon tournament. During the National Adjustments Appropriation Bill tabled in Parliament on 25 October 2012 an amount of (R323 million) was announced.

We are glad to report today that most activities were delivered according plan for the kick-off of the tournament. The government of South Africa is pleased with the good spectacle showcased in front of millions of Africans and the broader world community through good broadcast facilities, security services, health and occupational services, hospitality and other offerings from the country.

The smooth and seamless operations by our people is much appreciated, a recorded amount of 70 220 spectators attended the opening ceremony and games. We would like to thank the public for the way they behaved and cooperated with the security and officials at the various venues leading to the stadium. We further appeal to the spectators in various host cities to also come on board and emulate the National Stadium razzmatazz.

Government has also delivered on its mandate of taking AFCON to the ordinary citizens who could not be part of the National Stadium extravaganza. There were about 45 Public Viewing Areas set up in both indoor and outdoor facilities across the country in places such as; Diepsloot, Xhariep, Amalangeni, Mookgopong, Oudtshoorn.

We also urge supporters to continue adhering to restrictions such as not bringing umbrellas when it is raining during the games. We understand the rainy conditions but for the safety of our supporters however they are not allowed inside the stadiums.

We would also like to congratulate the AFCON Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the sterling work they have done so far and for the sleepless nights they went through to put together this prestigious extravaganza for South Africa in particular and Africa in general.

South Africa has not lost the tournament at all, hence we have to continue to support Bafana-Bafana. Yesterday's game was just the beginning and we will not give up on them.

I thank you.

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