I can handle both jobs – Danny Jordaan

FILE PICTURE: Danny Jordaan (SAFA President) (Photo by Duif du Toit/Gallo Images)

Danny Jordaan has insisted he is perfectly capable of serving as both president of the South African Football Association (Safa) and the new mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality.

Jordaan yesterday pointed to his experience of organising the 2010 Fifa World Cup as proof of his capability for handling the extra stress likely to come with his new role in the city of his birth.

“If you talk about stress, that is to face 17 000 journalists from all over the world, all over you every second,” he said.

“When you (South Africans) sleep, you must speak to journalists in the USA or in Tokyo or in Australia. You must engage them. I hardly slept during those periods. It was quite a challenge, but we had a strong team, with equal commitment to say we will succeed – and we did.”

On his role as mayor, Jordaan added: “The Nelson Mandela Bay was the city of my birth, I grew up there. To be the mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro is not to be the member of any group within the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro. We must work together to restore the city’s name in line with the reality of what Nelson Mandela represented – his values, his vision, his concern for the poor, his commitment to the downtrodden and the struggling.”

Jordaan also reiterated there was no duty for him to step down as president of Safa.

“In Safa there are those who volunteer, and these volunteers are people who don’t work at Safa, they are not paid by Safa, they are elected officials. Then you have the staff of Safa, they are employed by Safa. I am a volunteer, and in that group there are three mayors, five city managers and two sporting directors, many doing various jobs. We don’t get a penny from Safa,” he said.

“The minister of sport in Russia is a member of the Fifa executive. The King of Malaysia is a member of the Fifa executive. The president of Madagascar is a member of Caf as well as the Minister of Sport in Madagascar. This morning I received a letter of congratulations from Caf – they understand that my responsibility in football is voluntary, it is a non-paid function.”

Jordaan, appointed as mayor by the ANC ahead of next year’s local government elections, added that he would never abandon football for politics.

“I have made it clear that I am committed to football and have spoken about the kind of things I want to achieve. This is a national project and the ANC understand that.”

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