Miss South Africa

Genres: Award Shows, Specials, Variety
Broadcast on: SABC2, SABC3, M-Net, Mzansi Magic, Mzansi Wethu, M-Net City



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Miss South Africa is an annual South African beauty pageant which is aired as a television special, in which women from around the country between the ages of 18-27 compete to win the title, which they hold for a year.

The pageant began in 1956 and has been held annually ever since (with the exceptions of 1983 and 2013, the only years in which there has been no pageant). The winner of the pageant traditionally represents South Africa at the Miss World pageant, and often at the Miss Universe pageant as well.

In 2018 this format changed. Instead of choosing five finalists at the end of the pageant, the judges will choose two finalists. One of these will be named Miss World South Africa and the other will be Miss Universe South Africa. Each of them will represent South Africa at Miss World and Miss Universe respectively.

History of Miss South Africa

The pageant as we know it today began in 1956. In that year Die Landstem, a national Afrikaans-language newspaper, acquired the rights to send a delegate to the Miss World pageant in London.

In conjunction with The Sunday Times, a national English-language newspaper, the first official Miss South Africa competition was organised to select South Africa's entrant for the Miss World pageant.

At first the competition was called Miss RSA (the title later changed to Miss South Africa).

For the first 11 years of the competition the winners were chosen by readers of Die Landstem and The Sunday Times. Both newspapers would publish the entries they received and ask readers to vote on them. Once the finalists had been selected the newspapers would publish them and once again ask their readers to vote.

The winners would then be published in both newspapers on the same day.

In 1968 Die Landstem was shut down and sole organisation of the competition fell to The Sunday Times. In the same year they changed the format slightly - although finalists were still chosen from entries submitted to the newspaper, Miss RSA was selected by a panel of celebrity judges who met with the finalists at a venue in Johannesburg.

There was no "live" coronation, and the panel's decision was published in the press a week or two after the judging session.

The Sunday Times took on the Afrikaans newspaper Dagbreek as a media partner in 1968. In 1970 Dagbreek and another Afrikaans newspaper, Beeld, were amalgamated into one newspaper, Rapport, who became the media partner to Sunday Times for the Miss RSA competition in the same year it was first published, 1971.

The following year - in 1972 - the first public coronation of Miss RSA took place at the Johannesburg City Hall, where Stephanie Reinecke was crowned in front of a few hundred people.

In 1983 there was no competition at all for the first time since the annual competition began in 1956 (there has also never been a gap year since). Sunday Times were rumoured to be pulling out of the Miss RSA competition, but they decided to stay and made a date early in 1984 for the next competition.

Rapport once again staged their breakaway competition, and once again there were two Miss South Africas: Lorna Potgieter (Sunday Times) and Letitia Snyman (Rapport).

The following year the rival factions realised the pointlessness of the situation and pulled together to form one competition, called Miss South Africa (which it has remained ever since).

Shortly before the 1993 pageant, the two newspapers revealed they were "selling" the pageant rights, and after the 1993 pageant - which was won for the first time by a black South African, Jacqui Mofokeng - the rights to the pageant were "sold" to Doreen Morris and Sun International.

In 2000 Sun International took sole ownership of the pageant and have owned it ever since.

There were various periods in the competition's history where finalists were chosen after regional pageants (1970-1975 and 1994-2000). Since 2000 contestants have been selected via nationwide castings.

Miss South Africa Winners

The Miss South Africa contest has been an annual event since 1956, with the exception of 1983 and 2013, when no pageant was held. The official history of the pageant thus begins in 1956.

There were three previous winners of Miss South Africa, however, in once-off unofficial contests.

In 1925 Mavis Alexander was crowned the first ever Miss South Africa, although at the time the contest wasn't wasn't referred to as Miss South Africa - it was simply a nationwide search for the most beautiful woman in South Africa.

The next time the contest was held was in 1944, when it was won by Avelyn MaCaskill.

Wynona Cheyney became the third unofficla Miss South Africa in a contest held in 1949. She held the title of "Miss South Africa" for three years, until 1951.

The next time the pageant was held was in 1956, when it became an annual affair. See "History of Miss South Africa" above for more details.

1925: Mavis Alexander
1944: Avelyn MaCaskill
1949: Wynona Cheyney


Winner: Norma Vorster
2nd: Gloria Keeley
3rd: Virginia Burman


Winner: Adele Kruger
2nd: Jessie Waring
3rd: Denise Nichols
4th: Barbara Millea
5th: Penelope Ann "Penny" Coelen


Winner: Penelope Ann "Penny" Coelen
2nd: Rosemary Whitlock
3rd: Debbie du Toit
4th: Peggy Moran
5th: Susie Pieters


Winner: Moya Meaker
2nd: Sophia Pieters
3rd: Kitty Green
4th: Karen Perkins
5th: Tina Zwijsen


Winner: Denise Muir
2nd: Dorothy Farquhar
3rd: Stella Pithey
4th: Yvonne Hulley
5th: Leuna van Wyk


Winner: Yvonne Hulley
2nd: Marlene Boyes
3rd: Rita Rheeder
4th: Barbara van Rooyen
5th: Pamela Gibbs


Winner: Yvonne Ficker
2nd: Ellen Liebenberg
3rd: Madeleine Usher
4th: Louise Crous
5th: Dawn Nel


Winner: Louise Crous
2nd: Jennifer Slater
3rd: Maureen van Niekerk
4th: Coral Champion
5th: Babette Ruhl


Winner: Vedra Karamitas
2nd: Lorrain Mason
3rd: Virginia Scott-King
4th: Maureen van Niekerk
5th: Marcelle McGown


Winner: Carol Davis
2nd: Diane Webster
3rd: Ann Barber


Winner: Joan Carter
2nd: Dawn Duff-Gray
3rd: Margo Galbraith


Winner: Disa Duivenstein
2nd: Mary McDonald
3rd: Tiny de Lange


Winner: Mitzi Stander
2nd: Linda Collett
3rd: Patsy Goswell
4th: Christa Mentz
5th: Kathryn Wilson


Winner: Linda Collett
2nd: Diana Newman
3rd: Jackie Sayer
4th: Natalie Burger
5th: Adele Diggery


Winner: Jillian Jessup
2nd: Wendith Brink
3rd: Dorothea Scott
4th: Ingrid Bownes
5th: Natalie Burger


Winner: Monica Fairall
2nd: Merle Worsley
3rd: Maria Claassen
4th: Vera Venter


Winner: Stephanie Reynecke
2nd: Robin-Gail Hargreaves
3rd: Carolien van Niekerk
4th: Cecilia Fourie
5th: Daphne de Villiers


Winner: Shelly Latham
2nd: Janet Sanderson
3rd: Theresa Roodt
4th: Sharon Barker
5th: Peggy van der Merwe


Winner: Anneline Kriel
2nd: Ruanne Louw
3rd: Anita Michas


Winner: Vera Johns
2nd: Crystal Cooper
3rd: Rhoda Rademeyer


Winner: Lynne Massyn
2nd: Louise Withfield
3rd: Jan Kiggan
4th: Caro Henley
5th: Andrea Walters


Winner: Vanessa Wannenburg
2nd: Elizabeth Bunting
3rd: Marilyn Albutt
4th: Clare Akerman
5th: Monique Hare


Winner: Yolanda Kloppers
2nd: Monique Hare
3rd: Dawn Chapman
4th: Michelle Randall
5th: Deirdre During


Winner: Karen Sickel
2nd: Gail Rocher
3rd: Wendy Ross
4th: Liz van Coller
5th: Leanne Immelman


Winner: Sandra McCrystal
2nd: Kim Aston
3rd: Fiona White
4th: Saroj Chetty
5th: Annabelle Short


Winner: Linda Phillips


Winner: Odette Scrooby


No Pageant.


Winner: Lorna Potgieter


Winner: Andrea Stelzer
2nd: Sandy McCormick
3rd: Lorna Findlay
4th: Jacqui de la Cruz
5th: Anneke Theron


Winner: Sandy McCormick
2nd: Nancy Riach
3rd: Marie-Louise le Roux
4th: Meryl Stoltenkamp
5th: Roberta Alessandri


Winner: Wilma van der Bijl
2nd: Robyn Poole
3rd: Janine Botbyl
4th: Nancy Riach
5th: Meryl Stoltenkamp


Winner: Janine Botbyl
2nd: Roberta Alessandri
3rd: Mache Booysen
4th: Cheryl Coombe-Davies
5th: Leanne Kitching


Winner: Michelle Bruce
2nd: Helen Lewis
3rd: Debra Good
4th: Diana Tilden-Davis
5th: Corinne Durrheim


Winner: Suzette van der Merwe
2nd: Olivia Scrooby
3rd: Cheryl Coombe-Davies
4th: Roberta Alessandri
5th: Sandy Bayer


Winner: Diana Tilden-Davis
2nd: Amy Kleinhans
3rd: Sasha-Lee Walton
4th: Olga du Toit
5th: Karen Eisle


Winner: Amy Kleinhans
2nd: Augustine Masilela
3rd: Lisa King
4th: Belinda Haw
5th: Sasha-Lee Walton


Winner: Palesa Jacqueline Mofokeng
2nd: Corinne Durrheim
3rd: Marelize Steyn
4th: Rachelle Russouw
5th: Patricia Lauderdale


Winner: Basetsane Julia Makgalemele
2nd: Sonia Kempff
3rd: Helen Macleod
4th: Ronel Ruthyen
5th: Rethabile Matseke


Winner: Bernalee Daniel
2nd: Vanashrie Moodley
3rd: Nathalie Bernard
4th: Nonhlanhla Simelane
5th: Asma Ephrahim


Winner: Peggy-Sue Khumalo
2nd: Babalwa Mneno
3rd: Adele van Niekerk
4th: Rhelabohile Rhalipedi
5th: Heather van Heerden


Winner: Kerishnie Naicker
2nd: Jessica Motaung
3rd: Petra van Zyl
4th: Tembi Mbengashe
5th: Yolande Schoemann


Winner: Sonia Raciti
2nd: Heidi van Zyl
3rd: Keziah Jooste
4th: Marguerite Rabbolini
5th: Amanda Ngomane


Winner: Heather Joy Hamilton
2nd: Nadia Wyngaard
3rd: Pulani Moraladi
4th: Britta van der Hoek
5th: Kgomotso Chipane


Winner: Jo-Ann Strauss
2nd: Layla Jeevanantham
3rd: Claire Drew


Winner: Vanessa Do Ceu Carreira
2nd: Claire Sabbagha
3rd: Bonneventia Pule


Winner: Cindy Nell
2nd: Tammy-Anne Fortuin
3rd: Bridget Masinga


Winner: Joan Ramagoshi
2nd: Marissa Eggli
3rd: Siza Majola


Winner: Claudia Henkel
2nd: Dhiveja Sundrum
3rd: Sharon Arigye-Mushabe


Winner: Nokuthula "Thuli" Sithole
2nd: Avumile Qongqo
3rd: Matapa Maila


Winner: Megan Coleman


Winner: Tansey Coetzee
2nd: Avumile Qongqo
3rd: Manisha Pillay


Winner: Tatum Keshwar
2nd: Anja van Zyl
3rd: Buyi Shongwe


Winner: Nicole Flint
2nd: Matapa Maila
3rd: Lisa Maree Van Zyl


Winner: Bokang Montjane
2nd: Dhesha Jeram
3rd: Bianca Coutinho


Winner: Melinda Bam
2nd: Remona Moodley
3rd: Thuli Sangweni


Winner: Marilyn Ramos
2nd: Stacey Webb
3rd: Pearl Nxele


No pageant


Winner: Rolene Strauss
2nd: Ziphozakhe Zokufa
3rd: Matlala Mokoko


Winner: Liesl Laurie
2nd: Refilwe Mthimunye
3rd: Ntsiki Mkhize


Winner: Ntandoyenkosi Kunene
2nd: Elizabeth Molapo
3rd: Tayla Skye Robinson


Winner: Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters
2nd: Adè van Heerden
3rd: Boipelo Mabe


Winner: Tamaryn Green (Miss Universe South Africa)
2nd: Thulisa Keyi (Miss World South Africa)

NOTE: as from this year there is no 3rd place


Winner: Zozibini Tunzi
2nd: Sasha-Lee Olivier


Winner: Shudufhadzo Musida
2nd: Thato Mosehle
3rd: Natasha Joubert

NOTE: as from this year there is once again a 3rd place


Winner: Lalela Mswane
2nd: Moratwe Masima
3rd: Zimi Mabunzi


Winner: Ndavi Nokeri
2nd: Ayanda Thabethe
3rd: No third place


Winner: Natasha Joubert
2nd: Brioni Govender
3rd: No third place


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