_: Government will host the inaugural Nelson Mandela Sport and Culture Day at the FNB Stadium on 17 August 2013. For the first time, South Africans will have the pleasure of watching both the national rugby and football teams playing against international teams on the same day at the same venue. Rugby and soccer fans will also be treated to a music concert featuring a number of top local and international artists.
This sporting and musical event is part of the massive social cohesion and nation building campaign announced by President Jacob Zuma as part of the celebration of the 95th Birthday Celebrations of former President Nelson Mandela. The President announced the campaign during the Presidency Budget Vote debate in parliament earlier this year.
“Social cohesion and nation building are at the epicenter of the project to re-unite and build in the society that Mandela envisaged and lived for”, Minister Mbalula said to the media as he was being taken through the plans for Saturday. The presentations of plans to the Minister were done by, amongst others, Group Chief Executive Officer of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, Lucky Montana, who provided an input, on the train and bus programme and transition of pitch from the soccer to rugby by Stadium Management’s Jacques Grobellaar and VOC’s Patrick Ronenby .
Minister Mbalula expressed satisfaction with the state of readiness. He also tested the sound arrangement and stage settings which have to satisfy millions at home and thousands at the stadium.”The importance of the sound is that when the President Speaks from the screens as he will be in Malawi for SADC business, we all get the message on behalf of government and build on what Mandela taught us and also get the Annual Nelson Mandela Lecture live on our screens” stated Minister Mbalula. Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and former President, Thabo Mbeki will also grace the event.
This event is being accompanied by a mobilization campaign called Unite4Mandela which aims to unite South Africans in celebration of Nelson Mandela’s vision for sport as a unifying force in society. The campaign has received numerous messages from all over the world for Mandela, which included the likes of Ban Ki-Moon, former US President Bill Clinton, former US Ambassador to SA Rev. Jesse Jackson, actor Robert de Niro, singer Tyrese Gibson and many more from the global world.
To ensure safety and smooth operation of the event, strict traffic-control and security measures will be in operation in and around the Stadium from 06h00 to 23h00.Normal rules will apply to rules with regard to prohibited and restricted items
Members of the public will not be allowed to park at the stadium without pre-paid Computicket parking tickets. Parking is limited and people are encouraged to arrive early as well as use a single vehicle. Gates will be opened as early as 07h00, un-reserved pre-paid public parking tickets at a cost of R 20 per vehicle are available from Computicket.
Alternatively use of public transported has been arranged, more information on the transport schedule is available on: http://www.prasa.com/Media/Nelson_Mandela_Sports_Day_17_August.pdf
The event times are as follows:
Football: SA Masters vs Italy Masters: 10h30
Bafana Bafana vs Burkina Faso: 13h30
Rugby: Springboks vs Argentina: 17h00
Music concert: 19h00
Throughout his presidency, Nelson Mandela understood the power of sport to unify a nation and demonstrated his support for the national soccer and rugby teams by attending important matches. Supporting this special event is a small way that South Africans can give to our global icon.
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