21 September 2017

South Africa: Deputy President Ramaphosa to Lead Rugby World Cup Bid Delegation

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will lead a high-level delegation to London for the presentation to the World Rugby Council of South Africa's bid to host the prestigious Rugby World Cup 2023 tournament.

Deputy President Ramaphosa will be supported by Sport and Recreation Minister Thulas Nxesi and Deputy Minister Gert Oosthuizen ahead of Monday's presentation.

South Africa's presentation will take place at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, London.

Ireland and France are the other contenders for the 2023 tournament that will take place 200 years after the invention, according to legend, of the game of rugby by William Webb Ellis.

"President Jacob Zuma has requested Deputy President Ramaphosa to lead Team South Africa, in view of the fact that the President is leading the South African delegation to the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA72) in New York. UNGA has been scheduled for 19 - 25 September 2017," said the Presidency on Thursday.

The high-powered delegation will include SA Rugby President Mark Alexander and Chief Executive Officer Jurie Roux. The two will lay out South Africa's technically and commercially compelling case to host the tournament 28 years after the late President Nelson Mandela handed the Webb Ellis Cup to Francois Pienaar at a packed Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg.

Deputy President Ramaphosa's participation in this visit demonstrates the government's support for and commitment to the effort to return the tournament to the African continent in the 21st century.

"Contractually, this commitment is demonstrated by the fact that the South African government has, as the lead partner in the bid process, signed off on all the requirements stipulated by the World Rugby Council, satisfying more than the required minimum guarantee in the process."

Deputy President Ramaphosa has congratulated Team South Africa on its preparations to date for the presentation of the bid and has called on all South Africans to show their support for Team South Africa as the delegation enters the final stages of securing the Rugby World Cup 2023.

Last week Cabinet called on South Africans to support efforts to secure the bid.

"Cabinet wishes to reiterate its strong support for this bid and calls upon South Africans to support this bid that will contribute immensely to social cohesion and nation building and also serve as a catalyst for sport development," said Cabinet.

The World Rugby will announce the host of the 22013 Rugby World Cup on 15 November 2017.

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