Miss SA will go ahead despite major sponsor's withdrawal, say pageant organisers
Despite delays and the withdrawal of a major sponsor, Sun International have confirmed that the Miss SA pageant will go ahead this year. There were fears that this year's contest could be in doubt after registration delays and claims that Cell C had withdrawn its sponsorship.
Organisers confirmed that Cell C had withdrawn from the event but said the show would go on.
Sun International spokesperson Zoleka Skweyiya said that the pageant would soon announce "exciting news" about this year's contest.
"The pageant is not cancelled. We are hoping to announce some exciting news soon regarding the 2019 contest."
She did not comment on whether this included the announcement of a new sponsor.
The pageant usually takes place at the start of the year with registration opening the year before. This has not been the case with this year's competition, leading to speculation around the future of the prestigious show.
This speculation increased when current Miss SA Tamaryn Green recently returned to school, suggesting that her reign was over.
Zoleka said that while Tamaryn had returned to her studies, she will remain remain Miss SA until a new one is crowned.
"Although the current Miss SA has resumed her studies, she will retain her title until she hands over her crown to her successor," she explained.
Cell C’s Managing Executive of Corporate Social Investment, Suzette van der Merwe said that even though they are no longer a sponsor, they remained proud of their partnership with the pageant over the last five years.
"During the past 5 years of our involvement, Miss South Africa has turned out an incredible calibre of winners, including the crowning of two international title winners (Miss World 2014, Rolene Strauss and Miss Universe 2017, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters) and the reigning Tamaryn Green as first runner up at Miss Universe 2018. Globally, Miss South Africa has become a force to be reckoned with and locally it contributes to national pride. It continues to be a platform for young women to realise their dreams and be positive role models for millions of South Africans.
"While we can confirm that our partnership as headline sponsor of this property has come to an end, the value that it has provided to Cell C as brand has been outstanding.
Suzette said that the decision to withdraw as a sponsor came after a review of the company's sponsorships.
"Our decision to withdraw as sponsor follows a review of our various sponsorship properties. Cell C as a brand has evolved and we are looking at new opportunities that are in line with our strategic focus as a business."