GIVE OUR HEARTS A BREAK
Public Holiday? After such a stressful Rugby World Cup, we need a day off should Boks win, say South Africans
The Presidency, however, is staying mum on the question of granting a public holiday if the Springboks emerge victorious at the Rugby World Cup final on Saturday, 28 October.
The Presidency has declined to comment on the question of whether South Africans could expect a public holiday if the Springboks win the Rugby World Cup 2023 final next Saturday, 28 October.
The Springboks beat England by the narrowest of margins (16-15) on Saturday, 21 October, landing them a spot in next weekend’s final against the All Blacks.
Earlier on Saturday, the Proteas put their Cricket World Cup campaign back on track with a massive 229-run win over England. The double win had South Africans in a tailspin on Saturday evening.
Read more in Daily Maverick: Pollard’s late penalty gives Boks last gasp semifinal win over England
Bok fever gripped the country before the Rugby World Cup semifinal, nowhere more so than at Bok sensation Kurt-Lee Arendse’s old school, which swelled with pride.
After Saturday’s heart-stopping game, many South Africans floated the idea on social media of a public holiday if the Springboks emerged victorious in the final. Many proposed it as a day to get cardiac check-ups because of the compounded stress the Springboks have put the nation through this Rugby World Cup.
Read more in Daily Maverick: Rugby World Cup News Hub
President Cyril Ramaphosa first mooted the idea of a public holiday if the Springboks won the Rugby World Cup final, after South Africa knocked the host nation out of the tournament in the quarterfinal in a tense one-point win.
The Springboks beat France 29-28 in a nail-biting game on Sunday evening, 15 October.
France captain Antoine Dupont was critical of the referee after his team lost and, speaking at a green hydrogen summit in Cape Town last Monday, Ramaphosa began his speech by saying he could not get hold of France’s President Emmanual Macron “to commiserate” with him after the intense quarterfinal clash between the Springboks and Les Bleus.
“I’ve spent the better part of the morning trying to speak to President Macron just to commiserate, but we have not been able to talk – and we talk often about the highs and the lows of both of our countries. I’m sure we’ll be able to talk later,” Ramaphosa said with a grin.
He dubbed the Springboks quarterfinal win an “incredible success”.
Read more in Daily Maverick: Narrowest of margins: Brutal Boks find a way to edge Les Bleus in Paris quarterfinal thriller
“Many of them [South Africans] felt that we should declare today [Monday, 16 October] as a public holiday and I declined, and I said we would only consider that when they win the final – at which I will personally be present,” Ramaphosa joked.
“We will consider the calls for a public holiday when the @Springboks win the final…”
— ATHI GELEBA 🇿🇦 (@AthiGeleba) October 16, 2023
The President congratulated the Springboks on their semifinal win against England in a tweet posted shortly after midnight on Saturday.
“Congratulations to our heroic Springboks on a hard-won Rugby World Cup 2023 semifinal at Stade de France, Paris. Now our nation can focus our hearts and flags on our second successive Rugby World Cup Final in as many tournaments.
“We are indeed stronger – and victorious – together,” the post read.
Congratulations to our heroic Springboks on a hard-won Rugby World Cup 2023 semi-final at Stade de France, Paris. Now our nation can focus our hearts and flags on our second successive Rugby World Cup Final in as many tournaments. We are indeed stronger – and victorious –… pic.twitter.com/HfsksZJMpt
— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 (@CyrilRamaphosa) October 21, 2023
The Springboks will face the All Blacks in next Saturday’s Rugby World Cup 2023 final. DM