The President declared a public holiday on 15 December during his address to the nation on Monday night to celebrate the national team’s Rugby World Cup victory. As per Jacaranda FM, Cyril Ramaphosa said 15 December is a public holiday to honour the rugby players and their achievements. While many had hoped for an extra day off sooner to celebrate Saturday’s 12-11 win over New Zealand, Ramaphosa wanted to ensure that students could complete their final exams. Most high school students in their last year of matriculation exams took their first test on Monday.
The Springboks, led by iconic captain Siya Kolisi, clinched a thrilling victory in Paris, securing their fourth Rugby World Cup title. This win held particular significance in a country where rugby is a unifying force, transcending racial and social divides. The sport offers a welcome distraction from pressing issues such as poverty and unemployment.
Once symbolic of apartheid, the Springboks began evolving after South Africa transitioned to democracy in 1994. Former President Nelson Mandela famously rallied behind the team, which won its first World Cup a year later. Captain Siya Kolisi, the first black player to wear the captain’s armband in a Test match, played a pivotal role in engaging young, black South Africans in the sport.
President Ramaphosa, facing a general election the following year, painted a hopeful picture for the nation’s future during his address, citing progress despite challenges like the coronavirus pandemic and corruption scandals. Just a short time ago, the Springboks returned from France to a jubilant South Africa.
Picture: Facebook / The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa
Follow us on Google News.