Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu says Banyana Banyana’s victory at the maiden Women’s Africa Cup of Nations will go a long way in positioning the country as an attractive sports tourism destination.
Banyana Banyana were crowned the new queens of the continent after they beat hosts Morocco 2 – 1 to win their maiden Africa Women Cup of Nations title last month.
“South Africa is internationally regarded as a favourite destination for sporting competitions, thanks to a wonderful track record as host nation dating back to 1995, when the Springboks won their debut World Cup.
“This was closely followed by Bafana Bafana winning the African Cup of Nations a year later. These achievements were followed by our historic hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the world’s biggest sporting event,” Sisulu said in a statement.
“We hope this significant victory by Banyana will also ignite much-needed support for SA women’s sport and place it on par with other men’s sporting code,” she said.
Sisulu said Banyana Banyana’s success has enhanced the nation’s proud reputation as a world-class sporting destination and will also help drive the sports tourism market significantly – a sector that is slowly recovering after it was hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We are looking forward to welcoming the thousands of fans and tourists when we host the Cape Town Seven Rugby Series in December. We cannot wait for the thousands of fans who will be gracing our shores when we host the Netball World Cup in 2023 in Cape Town,” the Minister said.
Scores of jubilant supporters welcomed Banyana Banyana back home at OR Tambo International Airport to a sea of green and gold fans, South African flags and placards.