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SA: Zizi Kodwa: Address by Minister of Sport, Arts And Culture, on the occasion of the Supersport Home Coming of World Champions,1 November 2023, Multichoice City, Randburg, Gauteng (02/11/2023)


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SA: Zizi Kodwa: Address by Minister of Sport, Arts And Culture, on the occasion of the Supersport Home Coming of World Champions,1 November 2023, Multichoice City, Randburg, Gauteng (02/11/2023)

Minister of Sport, Arts And Culture Zizi Kodwa
Minister of Sport, Arts And Culture Zizi Kodwa

2nd November 2023


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Programme Director;
SuperSport CEO: Rendani Ramovha;
Multichoice Board Members and Executives;
MTN Board Members and Executives;
SARU President & Executive: Mark Alexander;
SA Rugby CEO: Mr Rian Oberholzer;
The Springboks Coach: Jacques Nienaber;
The Springboks Rugby World Cup Team (players and technical);
Director of Rugby: Rassie Erasmus;
Representatives of Sponsors;
Members of Media;
Distinguished Guests;
Rugby Fans;
Ladies and gentlemen

Good morning,


Today is a day of immense pride and joy as we gather to celebrate the triumphant return of our 4 times and back-to-back world champions, the team that has made our nation shine on the global stage. Today, we honor them not just as Springboks, but as ambassadors of our great nation and true compatriots.

The Springboks “did whatever it took”, true to the charge they were sent with as they left these shores.


The team and all of us as South Africans, shared the appreciation that this was going to be a tough championship, as they were defending champions. But Boyz, you did whatever it took and made us proud!

For South Africans, the 2023 RWC has demonstrated beyond any doubt that Sport has a unique power, especially rugby. It brings people together, transcending boundaries of language, culture, and background. It unites us in a common cause, creating a sense of shared identity and purpose. As we celebrate your victory today, we also celebrate the unity and strength that sports can bring to our nation.

The significance of the Springboks' win extends beyond the rugby field. It symbolizes unity and reconciliation in South Africa, a core ingredient for SA’s journey to nationhood.

Their victory serves as a source of national pride and it gave the nation hope, thereby boosting the nation's morale. Moreover, it promotes diversity and sportsmanship while fostering a sense of identity and belonging among South Africans. Your accomplishments on the world stage have a far-reaching impact. You inspire our youth to dream big, work hard, and aim for the stars.

As we sent you off, I said you will be making your own contribution towards national unity, national identity, and social cohesion. Indeed, it was so, as over the past month, South Africa has been on a glorious wave, united in their support of the Springboks and celebrating their team’s triumphs during the RWC championships, because you represent their aspirations and hopes. What you saw at the airport yesterday was a glimpse of the vibe that was at the fan parks and viewing places across South Africa.

One of the priorities of government is sports development in schools and at grassroots level. Your success has inspired children from around the country to get into sports, and to try to be the next Eben Etzebeth, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Bongi Mbonambi, Damian Willemse, Cheslin Kolbe, Faf de Klerk, or Siya Kolisi. I have seen new rugby clubs being activated in places like Gqeberha during this period because of these young people associating with their role model, Siya Kolisi.

We must therefore prioritize the development of grassroots sports and talent identification. Our future champions are waiting to be discovered in communities across the country. Together, we need to invest in infrastructure, coaching, and talent scouting to ensure that no talent goes unnoticed. Let us strive to create pathways for young athletes to progress from the grassroots level to elite competition.

In conclusion, I would like extended a hearty thank you to Rassie for being a champion of social cohesion and national unity.

When you appointed Siya as a captain back in 2019, although at the time the decision must have invited a lot of commentary and hurtful statements, you stuck to your devising. In 2023, history be the judge, you were right.

I have no doubt you influenced the appointment of Coach Jacques who was a physio at that time, that too, am sure invited a lot of commentary about that decision and his decision, in 2023, history be the judge, you were right.

This is the kind of leadership that is required if we are to make progress, to take hard bold decisions and remain loyal to our decisions.

To each and every one of the players, you have become advocates of social cohesion.

It is only through sport that we achieve our aspirations as outlined in the preamble of the constitution of republic, “South Africa belongs to all who live in it, a truly nonracial South Africa.

A heartfelt appreciation to sponsors who made it possible for our champions to compete and give their all without any care.

To the entire nation, thank you for your unwavering support. Mathol’anyongande kukudlelana!!

Lastly, before this positive energy dissipates, I am calling upon academics in our Business Schools to write case studies on the entire experience. I am sure both private and public sector leaders could learn a thing or two from it! It would be great to see the same experience being replicated on all fronts for a socially cohesive nation. Let us build on it and never go back.

United South Africa, Stronger Together!!

I thank you,


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