Pretoria: More than 50 000 tickets for the Nelson Mandela Sport and Culture Day, to be held at the FNB Stadium on Saturday, have been sold already.
South Africans who will be attending the event 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.
Bafana Bafana will take on Burkina Faso, while the Springboks will play Argentina. The matches will be preceded by a match between South Africa’s soccer legends.
This will be followed by a music concert featuring local and international artists.
Addressing the media on Thursday at the venue, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula called on South Africans to come in large numbers to attend the event.
“It is a moment we must cherish as a nation. Think about what former President Nelson Mandela has done for the country. Rugby and Football gives us as a nation an opportunity to unite,” Mbalula said.
The event is being held as part of celebrating the 95th birthday of former President Nelson Mandela.
Mbalula expressed satisfaction with preparations for the event.
As part of the event, tonight there will be a gala dinner which will be attended by acting President Kgalema Motlanthe, former Presidents and senior government officials. President Jacob Zuma is in Malawi attending the SADC Summit.
Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) Chief Executive Officer Lucky Montana announced that those who will be attending the event will be transported free when they produce their tickets.
According to Montana, provision has been to transport more than 40 000 passengers.
To ensure safety and smooth operation of the event, strict traffic-control and security measures will be in place in and around the stadium from 6am to 11pm. 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 7am, un-reserved pre-paid public parking tickets at a cost of R20 per vehicle are available from Computicket.
Patrick Ronan, Risk Advisor for the event, said all security measures are in place.
He said 600 police officers and 1200 private security personnel will be deployed in and around the stadium.
He urged people to purchase tickets at Computicket as there will be no tickets sold at the venue.
The football match between South Africa Masters and Italy Masters will take place at 10:30am. The match between Bafana Bafana and Burkina Faso will take place at 1:30pm while the rugby match between the Springboks and Argentina will take place at 5pm. The music concert will kick off at 7pm.
Artists who will be performing at the event include David Jenkins, Mahotella Queens, Umoja, Gcina Mhlophe, DJ Alessandro, Wouter Kellerman, Naima Mclean, Elvis Blue and 1st Project.
The proceeds will go towards building the Nelson Mandela children’s hospital in Gauteng.