Zuma: Is World Cup our standard of South African-ness?

2012-07-04 11:22

South Africans could learn lessons from the spirit of the Soccer World Cup in 2010 about what it means to build the type of nation we want, President Jacob Zuma has said.

Speaking at the opening of government’s social cohesion summit in Kliptown this morning, Zuma said: “Many point to the success of the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup, especially with regards to the promotion of unity and national pride, as an example of what a united South Africa should be.”

During the tournament, South Africans succeeded in promoting national unity and building a sense of common nationhood.

“South Africans were united behind the national soccer team, Bafana Bafana, and in ensuring that the tournament became a success in all respects.

“Every citizen became an ambassador of our beautiful country. It was a wonderful moment and it showed us what is possible if we put our country first above all else.

“We need to ask ourselves whether that is the standard of South African-ness that we are seeking, or if there is something more that we should and can do to build the South African dream,” Zuma said.

But he warned that social cohesion would be difficult if people were still in poverty and if services like education and healthcare were not good.

Zuma added that the funding of sports and the building of monuments and museums, which he announced in his state of the nation address in February, will help to enhance social cohesion.

The two-day summit, which is attended by delegates from various NGOs and political parties, was organised by the department of arts and culture.

Zuma said the summit, which he labelled a “watershed” event in South Africa’s history, should come up with ways of how to get South Africa to be the kind of society envisaged in the Constitution.

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