Jordaan: World Cup key part of South Africa rebrand

JOHANNESBURG - The World Cup has played a key role in the rebranding of the country and forging unity among South Africans, 2010 World Cup chief executive Danny Jordaan said on Saturday.

In a media briefing in Sandton on the impact of the World Cup, Jordaan said the organising committee had five objectives which have enabled the country to be rebranded positively, leave a sense of pride and achieve social cohesion among black and white South Africans.

"(We have achieved the) rebranding of the country. People look at South Africa with new eyes and new understanding and now embrace people of this country," Jordaan said.

He told a news conference the objective of nation building and social cohesion were achieved by football's biggest tournament as black and whites celebrated the tournament side by side at fan parks and stadiums.

"It was a moment of special unity," he said.

Jordaan, who hopes that the World Cup will have a powerful impact in bringing the races together in a country where they are still often divided, said South African people have felt a sense of pride and have walked tall during the tournament.

He said this was an incredible benefit after they were told for many years that they were inferior.

World Cup organisers also hoped that the tournament would increase tourism and strengthen the investment case for South Africa.

Jordaan said the World Cup has created 115,000 jobs for the poor and has provided them with skills that they could use in expected future infrastructure investment in the country.

South Africa estimates tourism will add 10 billion rand ($1.32 billion) to the economy, almost 10 times what the hosts spent on marketing in the past four years.

Overall, the hosts spent about 40 billion rand on the one-month event but Jordaan said the social benefits were far greater than the investment.

"What we cannot quantify is the generation of pride in South Africa as a nation, the unity, the sharing of a single vision," Jordaan said, adding that these must be mobilised to address social ills facing the country such as health, education and poverty.

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