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Editorial: Bok victory holiday lost in translation

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Kopano Tlape / GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Kopano Tlape / GCIS

Published Nov 1, 2023


Public holiday in celebration of the Springboks’ momentous achievement at the 2023 Rugby World Cup in Paris on December 15, a month and a half later.

Addressing the nation on Monday evening, President Cyril Ramaphosa explained that as much as many wanted a holiday now, most would agree that matriculants must be given time to focus on their exams, after which the celebrations will continue.

He said this could be a day of hope, celebration and unity.

Hours before the World Cup final kicked off on Saturday, there was already a buzz about an expected public holiday.

This kind of holiday, where a nation declares a public holiday to celebrate a sporting victory, is nothing new.

Saudi Arabia declared a public holiday to mark the national team’s stunning World Cup victory over Lionel Messi’s Argentina in November last year.

In 2014, Colombia declared a public holiday for a match against Brazil.

On the mother continent, Senegal last year declared a public holiday to celebrate the national football team’s first-ever African Cup of Nations crown following their victory against Egypt.

However, the holiday declared by Ramaphosa will be lost in translation because it did not happen immediately after the World Cup victory.

In addition, as stated by the EFF, December 15 falls on a day before the Day of Reconciliation (December 16), a public holiday which marks the start of the festive season.

It would appear that the president simply bowed to public pressure in declaring the holiday.

Just maybe, what could have made sense would have been to declare Tuesday a public holiday so that the nation would welcome the Boks back home.

This holiday could have excluded the education sector, in order not to interfere with the examinations.

The December 15 public holiday is nothing but a play for social media and the political gallery.

Cape Times