Hosting the world cup has helped South Africa consolidate the gains achieved after the attainment of freedom, President Jacob Zuma said on Monday.
Speaking at the gala dinner welcoming FIFA dignitaries, Zuma said the nation was now celebrating like never before.
“South Africa has come alive and will be the same again after this World Cup.”
He said it was the sacrifice and suffering of many South Africans that has made it possible for the international community to entrust the country such a responsibility.
“It is the sacrifices of our African brothers and sisters on the continent, the diaspora and indeed many in the world over (that made the it possible),” Zuma said.
“They refused to rest until South Africa was free of apartheid oppression. The World Cup is their celebration too.”