South Africa declares public holiday after ‘momentous’ Rugby World Cup win

Siya Kolisi of South Africa celebrates with the The Webb Ellis Cup following his side’s victory in the Rugby World Cup France 2023

He said he wanted the unity of the national team to become a greater fixture of South African society.

“We need more of this, and not just in the domain of sporting achievement,” said Mr Ramaphosa, who faces a general election next year.

“I am confident that through the actions we are taking now, we will overcome the challenges we face and build a society that works for all of its people,” he said after reflecting on his government’s achievements.

“We have much more to do. But like the Springboks, we have the determination and commitment to overcome any challenge.”

The president also said he had a conversation with their national cricket team captain Temba Bavuma, who is in India for the ICC Cricket World Cup.

South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada celebrates after taking the wicket of England’s Ben Stokes (R) during the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup one-day international (ODI) match between England and South Africa

“I spoke to the Proteas captain Temba Bavuma and encouraged them to remain focused and told him that the entire nation supports and stands behind them,” he said.

“I also told him that I intend to travel to Mumbai in India to watch them play in the finals,” he added.

The Proteas have the best net run rate in the tournament so far after clinching three consecutive wins. Their victory total is five.

While the team was defeated in a stunning upset in their third match against the Netherlands, their other victories have secured them a place in the semifinals of the cricket tournament.

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