“South Africa needs more than 90 minute patriots” – Dr Danny Jordaan

Annette Willemse -- Thu, 08/21/2014 - 11:38

“South Africa needs more than 90 minute patriots” – Dr Danny Jordaan

“South Africa needs more than 90 minute patriots.” This is according to Dr Danny Jordaan, the President of the South African Football Association (SAFA) and keynote speaker during the Vaal Triangle Campus’s recent celebratory public lecture. The lecture – focusing on the role of sport and education in nation building, forms part of the Campus’s ten year anniversary celebrations.

Dr Danny Jordaan

According to Dr Jordaan, South Africa’s journey towards total transformation is still ongoing and although great strides have been made thus far, the quest for a non-racial and non-sexist country continues.  During his address he said that sport represents a key transformation driver and that in combination with education it has the potential to change civil society for the better.

He started his lecture by addressing the Sport Science students of the Campus by saying that the solution to South Africa’s coaching dilemma could be solved through their commitment and dedication. “Maybe the real coaches are sitting in front of me,” he said and continued to explain that to serve as a technical director in SAFA a person must have obtained a master’s degree. “We find ourselves in a situation where some coaches are not even IT literate and we need to be honest with one another when we say that we cannot try again with the current crop of players. For the sake of nation building and pride we need to rebuild the national team from scratch and only then will we be able to qualify in 2018 and most definitely in 2022. Complete your studies, because we are waiting for you.”

According to Dr Jordaan the newfound patriotism that was evident in South Africa during 1995 when the Springbok squad won the Rugby World Cup, in 1996 when South Africa won the Africa Cup of Nations Tournament and again in 2010 when we hosted the Soccer World Cup was short lived.  He is of the opinion that transformation – not only in terms of national teams, but also in society at large, is needed to rekindle the spark of national pride.

In terms of education, Dr Jordaan stated that scholars and students alike should take note of the fact that their competition is not sitting next to them in class, but rather in India, Japan and the USA.  “If you take IT skills in South Africa, it is important to know what competitors in Qatar, Dubai and India are busy with since it will inform not only the needs of the industry but also the pace at which innovation will take place.” In light of this, he urged the youth to be winners not only on the sport field but also in the classroom.

He closed his lecture by saying that all South Africans long for three things: a good education for their children, a steady job and Bafana Bafana to win!