All systems go for 2014 Unite 2.0 campaign

NOVEMBER 19, 2014

South Africans are in for a treat on Saturday, with the 2014 Unite 2.0 campaign set to take place at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

The mega event will include 67 artists and comedians who will entertain and unite the nation in remembrance of the late former President Nelson Mandela.

The campaign, which is an initiative of the Departments of Arts and Culture and Sport and Recreation, will this year include athletics and cycling events.

South Africans will unite for the Nelson Mandela Sports and Culture Day, and both amateur and professional athletes from around South Africa will compete in a number of different events in remembrance of Mandela.

They will be joined on the day by a host of #Unite4Mandela ambassadors including a number of Comrades winners like the legendary Bruce Fordyce, Ironman and 1991 Comrades winner Nick Bester, 2012 winner Ludwick Mamabolo and this year’s champion Bongmusa Mthembu.

Not to be outdone, cycling will be represented by the world-class cyclists Daryl Impey, Chris Froome and Cherise Stander.

There will be dozens of other well-known sports stars from all codes, TV personalities, politicians, comedians and musicians, competing alongside their fellow South Africans for this worthy cause.

The 67km cycling race winners, in both male and female categories, will receive an unprecedented R250 000, second-placed riders will receive R150 000, while third-place riders will pocket R100 000.

The main running event is the 27km road race, and the winners of the race will pocket R150 000, with second getting R100 000 and third R50 000. The winner of the 9.4km run will receive R40 000, while the 9.4km walk winner will get R20 000.

There will be cash prizes for the top ten competitors in the two main events, and there will also be prizes for the top three in the 9.4km running/walking event, and also prizes given in a number of different age groups.

Cycling will start from Loftus Stadium at 06h00 and finish at the Union Buildings. The 27km run starts at 6.30am from Union Buildings, while the 9.4km race starts at 6:45am from Union Buildings, the 5km Fun Walk will start at 7am from Union Buildings.

Youth Colloquium

Ahead of the big day, students from a number of learning institutions gathered at UNISA Main Campus on Tuesday for a Colloquium with the theme ‘Our time is now’. These students, who represent Generation 2.0, participates in reviewing the past 20 years of the country’s democracy, and celebrate the many successes South Africa has seen.

Concert, entertainment

The Nelson Mandela Sports and Culture Day is not only about the athletes, after the races, a concert will be held on the South Lawns of the Union Buildings.

Speaking about the arts and culture program, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa said: “The Department of Arts and Culture has been delegated with the special responsibility to lead and coordinate programs on nation building and social cohesion.

“We believe this event contributes to the significant initiative to uphold the legacy and promote the values of the late former President and international icon, Tat’ uNelson Mandela. As Arts and Culture, we are privileged to have leadership role and appreciate our partnership with Sports and Recreation,” he said.

After the medals are handed out, dignitaries such as Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, Minister Mthethwa and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation, before the star-studded entertainment begins.

The concert promises something for everyone with MCs Lupi Ngcayisa, Tall Ass Mo and Celeste Ntuli presenting artists like Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Lira, the Parlatones, Kurt Darren, the Mahotella Queens, Zakes Bantwini, Sbongile Khumalo, AKA, Beatenberg, Sifiso Ncwane, Naima Mclean, Phuzekhemisi, Zahara, Karen Zoid, Desmond and the Tutus, Zandile Mzazi, Supreme I Crew, Botlhale, Kryptonite, Gcina Mhlope, Di Tswina Tsa Ngwao and Mzwake Mbuli. – SAnews.gov.za