Celebrating South Africa’s sports stars

South Africa – Thursday, December 14, 2023

South Africans will celebrate South Africa’s sports achievements and the Springboks World Cup victory on Friday, after President Cyril Ramaphosa declared 15 December a public holiday .

The Boks clinched a hard fought and historic victory during a tough encounter against New Zealand in the 2023 Rugby World Cup final held in Paris in October .

The Boks are the only national team who have won the Rugby World Cup four times .

In an address to nation shortly after the win and following public calls for a public holiday to celebrate the victory and sports achievements in true South African style, President Ramaphosa said the holiday would only be held after the matric final exams .

“In celebration of the Springboks’ momentous achievement and the achievements of all our other sports men and women, and as a tribute to the resolve of our united nation, I am declaring Friday the 15th of December 2023 as a public holiday .

“We declare this to be a day of hope, a day of celebration and unity .

Our sports men and women have shown us what is possible .

We will succeed and we will ensure that we leave no one behind,” President Ramaphosa said .

The year 2023 has been a glittering year for South African sports and its stars .

Notable achievements include:

The Springbok’s Rugby World Cup victory in October .

Banyana Banyana’s progression into the knockout stages of the FIFA Women’s World Cup (the first South African senior football side to do so) following their maiden Women’s Africa Cup of Nations victory in 2022 .

KG Montjane became the first South African woman in 40 years to win a French Open title after she and her Japanese partner Yui Kamiji, clinched the doubles wheelchair final in June .

South African swimming sensation Tatjana Schoenmaker won her first ever world title at the World Aquatics Championships held in Japan in July .

The South African Special Olympics team returned from the Special Olympics World Games held in June with 22 gold, 20 silver and seven bronze medals .

South Africa’s successful hosting of the Netball World Cup which was held on African soil for the first time in its history .

The tournament was held during July and August .

The Momentum Proteas – South Africa’s women’s national team – reached the finals of the Women’s T20 World Cup final held in Cape Town in February .

The Proteas reached the semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup held in India in November .

Earlier this week in his newsletter to the nation, the President urged South Africans to come together to “remind ourselves of everything that we love about South Africa” .

The President called on South Africans to mark a special public holiday to celebrate the historic victory of the Springboks in the Rugby World Cup .

“Their victory, alongside many other achievements by South Africans on the global stage, is a reminder of our country’s tremendous strengths and the promise that it holds .

“Let us come together on Friday to remind ourselves of everything that we love about South Africa .

Let it be a day of hope, celebration and unity .

I wish all South Africans a safe, peaceful and restful festive season as we all prepare for a successful new year,” he said .

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