January 21, 2018


Project management advice, tips, tools and recommended resources for existing and aspiring project managers.

Nelson Mandela – One of the Biggest Leaders in Modern History

The 5th of December 2013 was a tragic day for South Africa, the passing of Nelson Mandela at the age of 95. He has changed the course of modern history because of his fight against apartheid, the 27 years spent in prison and serving as our nation’s first black president of a democratic elected government.

Nelson MandelaAs a leader he will always be remembered for his passion to fight for his vision, his willingness to forgive, freedom for all and reconciliation.

Nelson Mandela was born the son of a tribal chief in Transkei, a Xhosa homeland. Many South Africans of all races call him by his clan name, Madiba, which means “reconciler,” as a token of affection and respect.


A statement made during the sabotage trial in 1964 by Mandela showed his ideal:

“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

He was sentenced to life in prison, which he spent mostly at Robben Island off the coast of Cape Town.

In his autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom,” he would write about his life after prison:

“As I finally walked through those gates … I felt — even at the age of seventy-one — that my life was beginning anew.”


President of first democratic elected government

South African President  Nelson Mandela takes the oath

South African President Nelson Mandela takes the oath

When Mandela became President in 1994, he closed his inauguration speech with:

“Let freedom reign. The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement! God bless Africa!”

Mandela celebrated holidays and hosted friends among the huts of rural Qunu in a replica of the prison guard’s home where he lived during his final days of confinement. Qunu is also where he was buried on 15 December 2013. About 5,000 people attended the state funeral, and millions more watched it on television.

Father of the Nation

Mandela statueNelson Mandela is known as the father of the nation. This is evident when looking at new banknotes, released by the central bank in 2012, showing his face. Mandela statues are in front of buildings and squares; places are named after him. South African Airways even emblazoned his silhouetted image on planes.

There are some famous projects associated with the Nelson Mandela Foundation. From the Centre of Memory a $1.25 million project to digitally preserve a record of Mandela’s life, went online last year. The project by Google and Mandela’s archivists gives researchers access to hundreds of documents, photographs and videos.

The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (NMCF) is a charitable organization founded by Nelson Mandela. Its mission is to help individuals from birth to age 22, and particularly orphans of the AIDS crisis. The fund currently has offices in Johannesburg, South Africa (Head Office) and in London, United Kingdom, which focuses on fundraising.

Mandela Soccer World CupThe Nelson Mandela Day’ project is to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better, and in doing so build a global movement for good. Ultimately it seeks to empower communities everywhere.

Mandela’s last public appearance was in 2010. It was during the Soccer World Cup 2010, hosted by South Africa at the Soccer City stadium when he smiled broadly and waved to the crowd during the closing ceremony of the World Cup.

The other unforgettable appearance during a sport event was during the 1995 Rugby World Cup, hosted by South Africa, when he appeared at the final in Johannesburg, wearing a Springbok jersey to congratulate the victorious home team. Mandela Rugby world cup


Visionary leader

He will be remembered as a visionary leader who managed to unite South Africa and who set an excellent example to leaders.  As stated by Joyce Banda, the president of Malawi: “Leadership is about loving the people you serve and the people you serve falling in love with you. It is about serving the people with selflessness, with sacrifice and with the need to put the common good ahead of personal interests.”

That is what Nelson Mandela stood for and how he has won the hearts and minds of many people not only in South Africa, but all over the world. He was truly inspirational as captured in many of his quotes:

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination”.

“When people are determined they can overcome anything”.

Thanks Madiba for the legacy that you are leaving behind…

Reflections and Lessons Learnt from 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP

As a conclusion to the series I did about the projects executed in preparation for the 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP, it is also necessary to do some reflections on lessons learnt. Success, pride and unity – could these words describe the effect of staging the 2010 FIFA World Cup?

If a successful event, pride and unity were part of the objectives, they have been achieved.  All South African felt proud to be the host country and they stood united behind their team, Bafana Bafana or any other team that they have supported throughout the tournament.  FIFA, teams and visitors were appreciative of the extent of South Africa’s preparations to stage a successful event.

2010 Cape Town Soccer Stadium

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan stated that South Africa’s government spent more than R33-billion over a period of four years on infrastructure and preparation for the World Cup. Close to R12-billion was spent on stadium infrastructure, R11-billion on transport infrastructure, and R1.5-billion on event broadcast and telecommunications.

Gordhan was of the opinion that it has increased the productivity of the people of South Africa, and that all the investment is part of the development and long-term planning for the country. It has earned us the reputation of a country that can actually deliver, and that is good for future growth

An estimated 130 000 jobs, most of them leading up to the World Cup, were created in the construction, roads and transport and hospitality industry.

According to the economist Dr A Saville some of the immediate positive results for South Africa were:

  • 66 000 jobs were created in construction alone earning an average of R10 000 per month.
  • More than R2 billion went to low-income households as a result of job creation
  • Skills upliftment and more people in the formal sector
  • Increased economic growth in the preceding years

The 2010 capital projects such as stadia, airport terminals and transportations infrastructure were exemplary and as good as counterparts anywhere in the world.

Many lessons were also learnt about the National Security and Communications components of projects of this magnitude as reported by Brigadier S de Beer.  Preparations for communications started in 2004 at the same time as the broader security measures.  Communication formed an integral part of the planning committee and was supported from the top.

The 300 member team that was responsible for security pooled from their collective experience and they used the channels that were created to keep each other informed. Potential risks were evaluated and mitigation steps were discussed on a daily basis.  Major lessons learnt here was the value of planning, tireless training and the simulation around all potential security scenarios.

According to Peter Richards, Managing Director of DV Project Management, some of the biggest lessons learnt came from trying to keep the projects aligned in a continuously shifting environment, both internal and external. Internal constraints related to financial resources where requirements far exceeded initial estimates and human resources were frequently stretched beyond required levels of competency.

A post-event survey conducted by FIFA confirmed their belief that hosting the event in South Africa would be a huge success. The survey results indicated that 83% of the tourists expressed an intention to return to the country and 94% said they would recommend a visit to South Africa to their friends and family. Visitors commented positively on the atmosphere in South Africa. This is a very positive outcome for the Tourism sector in South Africa.

In addition to experiencing pride and unity, the friendliness, hospitality and successful hosting of the event will be long remembered by all!  And I believe many more lessons were learnt and would provide useful input to similar projects in future.

2010 FIFA World Cup Soccer

2010 FIFA World Cup The 2010 FIFA World Cup will be the 19th soccer World Cup. It is scheduled to take place between 11 June and 11 July 2010 in South Africa. This will be the first time that the tournament is hosted by an African nation.

When the soccer bid was awarded to South Africa on 15 May 2004, it triggered a whole range of projects and programs in preparation for the World Cup 2010.  This is the 1st of a series of articles about the projects leading up to the big event, but first some background.

The 30-day count-down to the start of one of the biggest sport events in the world, the 2010 FIFA World Cup has officially started!

Participating Teams

Source: Wikipedia

The following 32 teams qualified for the final tournament.

AFC (4)

CAF (6)



OFC (1)

UEFA (13)

Soccer Venues

Source: Wikipedia

There are 10 venues to be used for the World Cup, but 9 host cities, namely: World Cup Stadiums

  1. Cape Town
  2. Durban
  3. Bloemfontein
  4. Nelspruit
  5. Port Elizabeth
  6. Pretoria
  7. Johannesburg
  8. Rustenberg
  9. Polokwane

World Cup 2010 Stadiums

The final 10 World Cup 2010 Stadiums to be used for the World Cup are:

  1. Green Point Stadium, Cape Town
  2. Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban
  3. Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
  4. Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
  5. Nelson Mandela Stadium, Port Elizabeth
  6. Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria
  7. Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg
  8. Soccer City, Johannesburg
  9. Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg
  10. Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane

About the World Cup 2010 Stadiums

  • Cape Town Stadium: Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.: A 70.000 seater soccer stadium in Greenpoint.
  • Durban 2010 Stadium: In Durban, South Africa’s busiest port, the temperatures seldom drop below 16 degrees Celsius. Moses Mabhiba Stadium, a 60 000 seater soccer stadium
  • 2010 Stadium Johannesburg (‘Joburg’): The capital of the Gauteng province is the economical heart of the region and of South Africa. Johannesburg will also be the epicentre of the World Cup Soccer, home to Soccer City, a 94.000 + seater stadium will host the opening and the final of the World Cup Soccer in 2010.
  • Johannesburg also boasts the 60.000 seater stadium of Ellis Park, renovated for the event.
  • 2010 Stadium in Bloemfontein: Bloemfontein is situated in the Free State province of South Africa, and is home to the constitutional court. The Free State Stadium 40 000 seater for soccer fans.
  • Nelspruit: Nelspruit is the capital city of South Africa’s Mpumalanga province. From Nelspruit, the Kruger National Park is a stone throw away.  A new stadium, the Mbombela Stadium – 40.000 seater
  • 2010 Stadium Polokwane: Polokwane, the capital city of South Africa’s Limpopo province. Peter Mokaba Stadium.
  • 2010 Stadium Port Elizabeth (‘PE’):Port Elizabeth, surrounded by nature and beautiful coastlines, has a lot to offer, from Addo Elephant Park and several game reserves. Brand new soccer stadium is the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
  • 2010 Stadium Pretoria: Pretoria is situated 60 kilometres outside of Johannesburg, and is South Africa’s administrative capital. The 50.000 seater Loftus Versveld stadium is in the heart of the city of Tshwane.
  • 2010 Stadium Rustenburg: Host City Rustenburg lies 100 km north west from Johannesburg, on the foot of the Magaliesberg. The Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace has space for 40.000 soccer fans.

If you are also inspired by the soccer World Cup 2010, please visit Total Soccer Fitness for a step-by-step guide to creating your own custom made, soccer conditioning program.
Jabulani soccer ball

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