The Local Organising Committee for the Orange AFCON South Africa 2013 had a packed AFCON Week. Flags were hoisted high up at three host cities yesterday and today. Today, the City of Durban hosted the hoisting of the flags ceremony of the four (South Africa, Angola, Cape Verde and Morocco) countries that will be based in Durban during the first round of the Tournament at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Amongst the guests that attended this event were the Mayor of eThekwini Municipality, the Local Organising Committee Representatives, Ambassadors, City and Provincial Officials, Soccer Legends, Media, SAFA Regions and Business Partners.

In his address the Major of eThekwini Municipality, Councillor James Nxumalo urged the City to begin immediately with public activations so that the public can feel that the Tournament is here. He said: “As the City of Durban we would like to see visibility and activities at all the surrounding townships to show that AFCON 2013 is here. This tournament must be felt by every person and every soccer fan just like we did during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.”

“As you know, and proudly so, eThekwini and the city of Durban has become synonymous with hosting and staging successful international events. Not once has this city failed to rise to the occasion when called upon to do so. As the LOC we are committed to be with you every step of the way to make sure that you make a success of this Tournament” said Mr. Alpha Mchunu, LOC Board Member who gave a speech on behalf of the LOC.

The Military Band was there to lead the performance of the South African National Anthem as the South African flag was raised after the formal programme. Thefour flags of the countries (South Africa, Angola, Cape Verde and Morocco) were raised in alphabetical order, the South African flag was raised first as it is the hosting country. Amongst the flags hoisted is the Durban host city flag for the Orange Africa Cup Of Nations.

Similar activities were also conducted yesterday in Rustenburg where huge crowds also witnessed the four country flags of Cote D’Ivoire, Tunisia, Algeria and Togo being hoisted in front of the Town Hall. The Mayor of Rustenburg Local Municipality, Councillor Mpho Khunou, and the LOC Chairperson Chief Muwelo Nonkonyana addressed the crowd and thedignitaries who attended the event.

In his closing address, Chief Muwelo Nonkonyana said: “Let us all, regardless of our cultural and religious diversity, come together under one common purpose – pray for AFCON 2013; pray for the Local Organising Committee. We have been tasked with a duty to stage this prestigious soccer Tournament onAfrican soil, and to carry out our duties with diligence, integrity, dedication and commitment we now require your blessings to ensure that we present a peaceful, seamless and high quality event that South Africans accustomed to.”

The Mayor of Rustenburg, Councillor Khunou promised the LOC and South Africans that: “Once again Rustenburg will be voted the Best Host City just as it happened during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. We promise you a memorable event both in terms of spectator and visitor experience. Go buy tickets in numbers and makes us proud as Africans and show the world that we are capable of hosting our events as a Continent and to the same degree if not better as other Continental football tournaments anywhere else in the world,” he said.

Flags were also hoisted today in Nelspruit for Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Zambia where the Mayor of Mbombela Municipality, Councillor Cathy Dlamini officiated the event which was attended by the Zambian Ambassador and an official from the Ministry of the Embassy of Nigeria as well as local government officials and Councillors of Mbombela Municipality. Mr. Brains Zulu, Head of Provincial Operations, represented the LOC.

In her address, Councillor Cathy Dlamini said: “I am very happy that this town will host the giants of Africa fighting for the coveted trophy of the Africa Cup of Nations. We will come out in numbers and we expect nothing else but fire works when these teams battle it out at this iconic Mbombela Stadium.”

The Orange Africa Cup of Nations will begin on 19 January until 10 February 2013 in South Africa. Tickets have gone on sale and are available at Selected Spar Outlets, also via the Internet as well as via a telesales centre on 0879803000.

More photos here