Brand South Africa benefited from the World Cup as South Africa experienced an image makeover, but South Africans quickly learned that national pride should run deeper than events: http://goo.gl/iZsmD.
2) Launch of the Gautrain & other infrastructure developments
The launch of Africa's first high speed rail link has jetted South Africa into the First World in a way that little else has. The impetus created by the World Cup ensured that this major infrastructure investment was completed on time. And it's been a resounding success with over a million people already having ridden it: http://goo.gl/JTowV .
For those of you who haven't made the trip; it promises to be a tear-jerker for even the most cynical South African. The significance of this infrastructure development by the Gauteng Province will only be seen in the years to come.
Despite critics saying that the World Cup stadiums would not be ready on time, they have become African monuments and Soccer City has received international acclaim: http://goo.gl/KG29C .
One of the spinoffs of the infrastructure developments of 2010 is that it's been easier for South Africans to get around: http://goo.gl/4eDvy.
Tourism in South Africa has grown in 2010 despite the global recession. Not many countries can boast the same:http://goo.gl/nwU6Z.
Not only that, but foreigners injected a whopping R3.1billion into our economy in 2010: http://goo.gl/see1w.
The trend is set to continue, as 92% of World Cup visitors said they would recommend South Africa to friends and family: http://goo.gl/AEDFI.
4) We are winning the war on crime
Nothing did more for the fight against crime in 2010 than the pressure of the international media. Government responded by taking a new hardline approach to crime. The murder rate has declined by 8.6%:http://goo.gl/t0K5Z ; forensic processing has sped up: http://goo.gl/1xtJN and no tourists were killed during the World Cup despite bets that it would turn into a blood bath.
We also saw the benefits of public-private partnerships on this front: http://goo.gl/MvGuT
An important victory in the fight against crime was the conviction of former top cop Jackie Selebi:http://goo.gl/v6AWg. Efforts need to continue in 2011 to ensure that prostitution is not legalised, children are protected from abuse and that South Africa does not become a gateway for drug and human trafficking.
5) The rise of the responsible citizen
2010 was also the year where it became fashionable to do good: http://goo.gl/a4C4b . Over 52 000 South Africans applied to volunteer during the World Cup, hundreds volunteered during the public sector strikes:http://goo.gl/FVG4e and despite what Cosatu might think, our rich are the second most generous group in the world: http://goo.gl/JTEvx . LeadSA launched in August and has been a new voice of morality in our nation ever since: http://goo.gl/MqEaS .
6) Our cultural legacy is changing
This year, we heard much more about the necessity for economic transformation than in previous years. Policy is shifting towards making South Africa an inclusive nation:
http://goo.gl/rFxMi. Also, black South Africans increased their ownership on the JSE: http://goo.gl/wu2JI .
7) SA continues to innovate
US Ambassador to SA, Donald Gips this year named South Africa a potential "global innovation hub for the 21st Century": http://bit.ly/aVxKDV .
SA's fastest growing companies revealed a dynamic entrepreneurial economy: http://goo.gl/0DwZf .
There were many innovations that set South Africa apart in the field of innovation, which included our own electric Joule: http://goo.gl/u7ZlR .
For more innovative people and achievements that made South Africa famous in 2010, click here:http://goo.gl/aqOOS
8) The last investment frontier
As the West and global superpowers continued to battle the recession and negotiate bail-outs, Africa was singled out as the "last investment frontier". Consumer giants like Wal-Mart took an interest in South African firms:http://goo.gl/oH6so and South Africa was labelled the "launchpad to a billion consumers": http://goo.gl/OZ2pVand named a Top 20 global investment destination: http://goo.gl/t7oOI .
Here are some other notable headlines:
· SA best for regulation of exchanges http://goo.gl/gAZG0
· SA competitiveness improves again http://goo.gl/L0gRW
· SA best housing market over the long-term http://goo.gl/ZKWUV
9) The call for a responsible media
As talks of economic transformation gained momentum, so did the realisation that South Africa needs a more responsible and accountable media. The launch of The New Age this week and the launch of the Sunday Times' Zulu edition: http://goo.gl/13gpl have added more diversity to South Africa's pie that has not been there in the past. We work well with our investigative press and recognize the absolute necessity for their existence. We also encourage the diversification of the media and strive to be a leading voice of the other side of our real story, which is so often missed by a largely crime-focused, blood-chasing South African media: http://goo.gl/K4v9H
10) South Africa made its mark as a global contender
For all the negative stories that have done the rounds this year, there are so many more stories about Africans and South Africans who have staked their place in the world. Seven Africans made it onto the Time 100 List this year: http://goo.gl/gv4aL .
Lewis Pugh made history for climate change: http://goo.gl/4JVfv .
District 9 was nominated for 7 Baftas http://bit.ly/dJz54O and there were dozens of sports heroes who inspired the next generation of South Africans: http://goo.gl/m5ODf.
It was a landmark year for South Africa; the labour fruits of thousands of citizens who love this country and see a great future for the Rainbow Nation.