Thursday, December 31, 2009

South African President Jacob Zuma Calls For End of 'Culture of Negativity'

Zuma calls for end of 'culture of negativity'


President Jacob Zuma said 2010 was 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 on Thursday.

He said January 1 would mark the beginning of the most important year in the country's history since 1994, with the 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 -- 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 counter the effects of the recession as thousands of people had been employed and trained during the construction of stadiums

"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 received 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

Source: Mail & Guardian Online
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