KwaZulu-Natal’s Lalela Mswane has been crowned Miss South Africa 2021 at the glittering pageant finale held at Grand Arena, GrandWest in Cape Town.
The 24-year-old – who comes from KwaSokhulu in Richards Bay – graduated with a Bachelor of Law from the University of Pretoria. She is also a model and a dancer.
Mswane received R1 million in cash as well as a further R3 million worth of sponsorships and prizes, including the use of a fully furnished and serviced apartment at the luxurious Central Square Sandton, with fabulous interior décor by Vursa, and a Mercedes Benz C-Class Sedan for the year of her reign.
The two runners-up were Moratwe Masima, a qualified doctor from Midrand in Gauteng, and BCom Law degree student Zimi Mabunzi from eQonce (King William’s Town) Eastern Cape. Both received R175 000.
These Top 3 will represent South Africa at the world’s three most prestigious pageants – Miss World, Miss Universe and Miss Supranational. The person going to which competition will be revealed in coming days as the Miss South Africa Organisation decides which candidate would do the best at which pageant.
The new Miss South Africa’s mother Hleliselwe was an accounts clerk who, after years in the labour force, decided to assume the great responsibility of being a homemaker. She has an older sister Hlobisile and brother Mavela. Her father passed away 11 years ago.
In her Miss South Africa acceptance speech, Mswane outlined what she would like to achieve in the year of her reign:
“During the journey towards this title, I made unemployment the cornerstone of all the causes I care for because it not only affects our youth but is the source of many of the social ills so prevalent in South Africa. It is now my duty as Miss South Africa to ensure that I start the conversation about unemployment amongst our youth and seek meaningful solutions which will have long-lasting effects towards its rebate.
“My campaign aims to offer support to young people to assist them to create their own employment opportunities by means of entrepreneurial skills and, in doing so, empowering them to be self-sufficient and to secure their own economic futures. I neither take the magnitude of the task lightly nor for granted because I know unemployment is a complex issue. But action towards its reduction is necessary today more than ever. Let us get ready to create and build healthy and sustainable entrepreneurial opportunities, take ownership of and shape our own futures. There’s never been a better time to do so!
“A heartfelt note of gratitude to my fellow Miss South Africa 2021 sisters for making this journey so incredibly amazing. My beautiful South Africa, now that I have been so warmly welcomed into your hearts, I hope to bring you as much joy and pride as I can. My role now to encourage, to inspire, to give hope and to continue to work and build onto the legacies of Miss South Africa’s past. I intend to live by every word I have expressed and to serve, lead and represent our beautiful nation to the best of my abilities,” she concluded.
The event was screened on M-Net (DStv Channel 101) and Mzansi Magic (DStv Channel 161) and streamed online for an international audience on MissSA.live. Hosts were two of South Africa’s best-loved television personalities, Anele Mdoda and Nico Panagio, while Miss Universe title holders, 2018 winner Catriona Gray and her 2019 Zozibini Tunzi, were backstage presenters.
The all-women selection panel line-up included respected and influential personalities with reigning Miss Universe Andrea Meza joined by Miss Universe 2015, TV personality, model and actress Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach; former Miss South Africa title holders Basetsana Kumalo (1994) and Tamaryn Green (2018); actress Shannon Esra (The Queen); vice-chancellor of the University of Cape Town Mamokgethi Phakeng and radio and TV presenter Dineo Ranaka.
Miss South Africa is presented by Weil Entertainment in association with M-Net, Mzansi Magic, Sun International and the City of Cape Town.