The joint seating of parliament was a sea of bright yellow with members of the council of provinces and parliament donning their Bafana Bafana jerseys, waving the national flag and even daring to blow their vuvuzelas.
It was a session that was full of optimism, song and colour, as members of each party took to the stand to commend the efforts of the Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation, the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee, SAFA and FIFA for not only giving South Africa the opportunity to host the World Cup, but delivering on its promises.
“Today, it is wonderful to be in Africa, and today, it is wonderful to be African,” said Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation Chairperson, Butana Komphela, who opened the seating.
“Today we are celebrating the World Cup because we have been given a fair chance. And this is what we needed. The world will never forget South Africa,” said Kompela to a festive crowd and packed gallery. “All of us must come together to make sure this World Cup is a success. I am confident this will be the best Word Cup of our lifetime.”
“I can feel it, it is here. I feel so un-parliamentary that I will blow a vuvuzela. Today is not about politics, but about dancing and celebrating. We must celebrate the first FIFA World Cup on Africa’s soil and be proud that it is happening in South Africa,” said Donald Lee from the Democratic Alliance.
To maintain order, Hon Max Vuyisile Sisulu, MP, Speaker of the National Assembly then felt that the vuvuzela should not be blown in court, but this did not dampen the enthusiasm of the seating with cries of “viva South Africa viva” and “viva Bafana Bafana viva”.
“Already, before the first whistle is blown, this is a changed country,” said Mr Graham Peter Mac Kenzie from COPE (Congress of the People). Mac Kenzie also referred to the recent Super 14 rugby semi-finals and finals that were held in Orlando Stadium, Soweto for the first time, and heralded them as a social success for South Africa. “What those two games did for race relations in this country, we as politicians can only hope to one day do."