The FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter today (17 September 2008) concluded his four-day stay in South Africa with a courtesy visit to Jacob Zuma, the President of South Africa's governing political party, the African National Congress (ANC). The informal meeting was held at the organisation's headquarters, Luthuli House. The talks were held in a frank and cordial atmosphere, and the focus was on the ongoing preparations for FIFA's flagship competition, the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. "Today I am a very happy President as during my four-day stay here in South Africa I was also pleased to hear during the various meetings that the 2010 FIFA World Cup is fully supported by all political and governmental authorities. I want also to thank Mr Zuma for taking the time for today's briefing," said the FIFA President, who was accompanied by FIFA General Secretary Jérôme Valcke, the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (SALOC) Irvin Khoza, SALOC CEO Danny Jordaan and SALOC board member and FIFA Goodwill Ambassador Tokyo Sexwale. Also present at the meeting were ANC Treasurer General Matthews Phosa and ANC Presidency officials Zizi Kodwa and Lakela Kaunda.
Jacob Zuma reassured FIFA of his personal commitment, and that of the ANC and the government, to staging a successful FIFA World Cup™: "I am happy to give FIFA the assurance of our full support for the FIFA World Cup with continuity ensured in all key areas. South Africa is renowned for having hosted world events with distinction and should continue with this trend by making the FIFA World Cup in 2010 the best the world has ever seen".
Another topic touched upon was the current status of the national team. "The greatest challenge will be for our soccer players to demonstrate to the country and the world that they can set a record equal to our Paralympians who have made us proud by winning several gold medals in Beijing," said Mr Zuma. He also stressed that the ANC was pleased with the level of progress being made in the country in terms of developing infrastructure, in particular the construction of stadiums and the improvement of roads and other related facilities which would bring the country and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region much needed revenue.