SA Rugby has explained why they have chosen Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Soweto, Pretoria and East London to host the world champion Springboks’ victory parade.
A four-day trophy tour will commence in Gauteng on Thursday “to convey the team’s appreciation and proudly showcase the trophy as it embarks on another four-year journey in South Africa”.
On Friday, they will move on to Cape Town, followed by Durban on Saturday, before concluding the tour in East London on Sunday.
In a statement on Monday, ahead of the Springboks’ arrival at OR Tambo international airport on Tuesday morning, SA Rugby president Mark Alexander highlighted that the tour’s purpose was to reach as many people as possible within the limited time frame before the players go on holiday before rejoining their club teams.
Regarding the choice of Buffalo City over Nelson Mandela Bay, Alexander noted that another significant Springbok event is planned for the metropole in 2024, although specific details are yet to be confirmed.
“The five largest population centres in the country – Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Soweto, and Pretoria – have been given priority to provide the maximum number of people with the opportunity to welcome the team,” said the statement.
“Furthermore, the significance of the Eastern Cape in the history, development, and future of black rugby was acknowledged, leading to a visit to Buffalo City on a non-working day to enable individuals from the region to be part of the celebration.”
Alexander said there is a possibility for other provinces around the country to be visited by the Springboks in 2024. A similar idea after the 2019 World Cup was derailed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The players’ club commitments necessitate their swift return or immediate rehabilitation after 21 weeks of intense competition since the Rugby Championship began,” Alexander said.
“Satellite tours to other population centres in the Free State, North West, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and Northern Cape, among other places, are in the planning stages, with scheduling contingent on players’ club commitments.
“While it was always challenging to visit every town and city due to time constraints, we are confident that our choices and ongoing planning will enable us to visit all major population centres in every province over time. With the cup in our possession for another four years, there’s ample opportunity for that.”