Thulas Nxesi Minister of Sport and Recreation. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

South Africa's bid to stage the 2023 Rugby World Cup has been revived after the government lifted a ban on the sport hosting major events, sports minister Thulas Nxesi said on Tuesday.

"Their right to bid for and host major sporting events, which was revoked before, is hereby immediately reinstated," said sports minister Thulas Nxesi according to a statement issued by SA Rugby.

The government banned SA Rugby from seeking the right to host the 2023 tournament as part of a push for the sport to include more black players and executives.

Cricket, netball and athletics were also censured by the sports ministry for failing to attract a more diverse roster of players and administrators more than 20 years after the end of white-minority rule. Only athletics remains subject to restrictions.

"I would like to congratulate rugby, cricket and netball on their improved scores, you were clearly willing to walk the extra mile," said Nxesi.

SA Rugby president Mark Alexander welcomed the decision, calling it "a tribute to the work that the sport has been doing in recent years to stay in tune and relevant to modern South Africa".

"We can now put the finishing touches to what we believe will be an outstanding bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup," he said in a statement.

Ireland and France are also seeking to host the 2023 tournament, with World Rugby expected to announce the winner in November.