Will the president declare a special national public holiday?

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to address the nation on Monday evening following the historic victory of the national rugby team against the New Zealanders.

The president’s family meeting is scheduled to take place at 8pm.

Widespread speculation is rife that Ramaphosa will declare Tuesday a special national public holiday to allow the nation time to give the heroic rugby players a fitting welcome back to the country after over a month competing in France.

The president’s promise

The president promised days before the final at Stade de France on Saturday night that he will consider announcing a special public holiday should the Springboks bring the Webb Ellis trophy back to the country.

The Springboks beat the All Blacks 12-11 in a tightly contested final, defending the title won in 2019 and winning it for a record fourth time.

Three clinical penalty conversions from flyhalf Handré Pollard were enough to take the Boks over the line and break the hearts of their bitter rivals.

The victory was not only for the national rugby team players and coaching staff, but for the entire nation that is dealing with tough economic conditions.

For a short spell on Saturday night, through to the early hours of the morning on Sunday, millions of South Africans forgot about crime, unemployment, depressed economy and gender-based violence to celebrate the historic win.

Ramaphosa, who attended the final together with Sports and Arts Minister Zizi Kodwa and other members of the government, helped Springbok captain Siya Kolisi lift the Webb Ellis trophy in front of thousands of spectators at Stade de France.

Stronger together

In his post-match remarks, the president said “stronger together” is a belief that came to life for Springbok supporters all around the country, on the continent, and across the world.

He said the victory will add to South Africa’s national development.

“Sport has the power to transform individuals’ lives and lift the spirits of entire nations,” Ramaphosa said.

“Tonight [Saturday], Siya Kolisi and the 2023 World Cup champions have gifted us an extraordinary, inspired and inspiring national achievement that lifts our hearts and hoists our flag even higher.”

The president also commended the All Blacks for a hard-fought World Cup campaign that made them the deserving finalists.

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