Motlanthe was speaking at the tournament's opening ceremony here. He also said the IPL was providing Rand 10 million in scholarship funds to 300 students and 32 schools.
Motlanthe said SA would never forget its shared history with India in the struggle for justice and human dignity.
"Together, we formed the greatest partnership so that India, Brazil and South Africa could stand together and navigate a path through the unpredictable waters of globalisation."
Motlanthe said choosing South Africa to host the tournament was a "tremendous vote of confidence", but also inspired serious reflection.
"We must extend our sympathy and support to the people of India and the subcontinent who have experienced the trauma of wanton and unwarranted terrorist attacks by groups who cannot resolve differences in peaceful, tolerant and respectful ways.
Nevertheless, he said choosing SA as a host showed confidence in its ability to host the IPL, the Confederations Cup and the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup.
"It is a vote of confidence in our facilities, our telecommunications capability and our cricket-loving fans who have already snapped up all the tickets for the IPL matches. It is a vote of confidence in our many institutions to manage various major events, and run a peaceful election at the same time," News24 quoted Motlanthe, as saying. "In entertaining us, the IPL teaches us this important lesson in life: no task is too big, no problem is insurmountable, no disagreement or rivalry is permanent, and every challenge is an opportunity to demonstrate our character and resilience, he added.