WATCH: Boks bring Durban city centre to a standstill

By THAMI MAGUBANE Time of article published Nov 8, 2019

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Durban - Tens of thousands of people brought the Durban city centre to a standstill on Friday morning as they spilled out from shops and office blocks to congratulate the world champion Springboks who brought their victory tour to the steps of the Durban City Hall.

At the city hall, they were cheered by thousands of people who had gathered to meet them and catch a glimpse of their favourite stars.

The all conquering Springboks had earlier in the day snaked through similar scenes in uMhlanga and KwaMashu where thousands of people lined the streets to greet them. Many took the day of from work and school and donned the famous green and gold Bok jersey and waved South African flags as Springbok tour bus made its way through Durban.

Similar scenes played out o n the streets of Joburg and Pretoria yesterday when residents cheered on the Boks as they showed off the coveted Webb Ellis Cup.

South Africa beat England in the final at the International Stadium Yokohama on Saturday.

Pic: Motshwari Mofokeng (African News Agency)

The Durban leg of the Boks’ tour started in uMhlanga, then moved to KwaMashu, north of Durban, where the team was greeted by enthusiastic supporters eager to see their favourite players.

The victory lap ends with a celebratory lunch at the Moses Mabhida Stadium this afternoon. 

The Springboks will not have a chance to tour other city attractions owing to a tight schedule, as they will depart in the afternoon for another showcase of the trophy in Port Elizabeth.

Pic: Motshwari Mofokeng (African News Agency)

EThekwini Municipality said all contingency plans had been put in place to accommodate the thousands of fans who were expected.

The trophy will be officially unveiled to the Durban mayor, Mxolisi Kaunda, at the city hall.

Kaunda, Premier Sihle Zikalala and Sports and Recreation MEC Hlengiwe Mavimbela will accompany the team.

“A full day  planned for the team. The celebrations will start in the morning. They will also be visiting and interacting with community members at the KwaMashu train station,” said the spokesperson for the mayor, Mluleki Mtungwa.

Pic: Motshwari Mofokeng (African News Agency)

“From there, they will be visiting other areas or driving through such areas.”

He said from KwaMashu heading towards the city centre, the team would be driven in a rickshaw bus along Malandela Road, giving fans along the route a view of the team, and from there they would join the N2 towards the city centre.

“They will head to the Durban City Hall, where the trophy will be officially unveiled to the mayor, then there will be a tour around the city centre before the festivities at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

“We urge residents to come in their numbers to the city hall. Plans have been put in place to accommodate them. Those who can’t make it to the city hall, we urge them to line the route the team will be travelling,” said Mtungwa.

Novashni Chetty of the Cell C Sharks said they were excited to see the Springboks, especially their own players like Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira who contributed immensely to the success of the team.

For Mtawarira, this will also be his farewell to fans of the Springboks and Sharks in Durban, after announcing that he was retiring from all forms of rugby in the country.

“We’ll have representation at the lunch held by our mayor. Our staff will also be lining the street to congratulate our heroes. The staff are particularly excited to see the Sharks players who represented the Springboks at the World Cup,” said Chetty.

KwaMashu councillor Mondli Zwane said there was growing excitement about the event, even among people who didn’t follow rugby.

“The attitude has been that these guys did well.”

Phathisa Mfuyo, the spokesperson for MEC for Sports and Recreation, said they believed that the team’s victory had demonstrated how sport could bring hope and unity to the nation.

“We hope that this achievement will inspire more young people to work hard in developing their talents,” she said.

Bongani Tembe, the spokesperson of the premier said: “As the province, we are very proud of the achievement by the Springboks and we hope their presence here will motivate young people to get involved in sport, especially rugby.”

Pic: Motshwari Mofokeng (African News Agency)

The Mercury

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