And the Top 16 finalists for Miss South Africa 2019 are:
Hatfield in Pretoria
BA Law graduate, currently doing her LLB at the University of Pretoria.
Beulah lists her six role models as being her mother, Naomi Campbell, Michelle Obama, Beyonce, Winnie Mandela and Serena Williams.
She enjoys working out, exploring different restaurants with friends, singing, travelling, cycling, watching Netflix and reading - her current book being Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
She confesses that she fancies Odell Beckham Jnr and has had the biggest crush on him for two years.
She loves a good chicken tikka pasta salad and says listening to classical music helps her concentrate and relax.
Nyanga in the Western Cape
In her third year of a humanities degree at UCT majoring in anthropology, industrial sociology and political studies.
She has a younger brother and five half-brothers and sisters and enjoys hiking, going on coffee dates with herself, reading and spending time with family and friends.
She would love to meet the singer Letta Mbulu whom she considers "one of South Africa’s gems".
Describing herself as assertive, intelligent and compassionate, Chuma says people would be surprised to know that is very talkative.
Her favourite TV shows are on the Crime & Investigation channel which she watches while indulging in her guilty pleasures of coke and ice cream.
Umhlanga in KZN and moved this month to Cape Town.
A Bachelor of Social Sciences graduate and full-time model.
Danielle worked in marketing as a brand manager for several value-added service products, but stepped away from her job to further her modelling career and to give 100% to her Miss SA journey.
Her role models are ordinary people who inspire her through their actions and stories.
She enjoys running, hiking and being outdoors but she does confess that she loves nothing better than staying in her pjs all day watching Netflix.
self-confessed karaoke queen, Danielle describes herself as bold, loving and creative with a crush on Jonathan Boynton-Lee.
Eloïse van der Westhuizen
Panorama in Cape Town
Has a B.Com and Honours degree in logistics/supply chain management (Cum Laude) from the University of Stellenbosch and currently works as a merchandise planner.
One of Eloïse's role models is former Miss SA Tamaryn Green whose Break the Stigma campaign about TB awareness helped her deal with, and talk about, her own scare with the disease.
A fan of MasterChef Australia, Game of Thrones and Survivor SA, her favourite meal is pulled lamb tagliatelle pasta, which she'd love to share with her crush, Ryan Reynolds.
The pageant takes place on Friday, 9 August 2019 at the Sun Arena at Time Square Casino in Pretoria and will air live on M-Net and Mzansi Magic at 17h00.
Bonang Matheba will be hosting, supported by Liesl Laurie (Miss SA 2015) and Zavion Kotze (Survivor SA, The Wedding Bashers).
Performers are Sho Madjozi, Amanda Black, Nasty C, Jesse Clegg and Rowlene.
The pageant judges are Miss South Africa and Miss Universe 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, actress and producer Connie Ferguson, radio DJ and TV presenter Anele Mdoda, Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and model, activist and lawyer Thando Hopa, the first woman with albinism to be featured on the cover of Vogue.
BA Law Graduate (Cum Laude) and in her first year of LLB.
Errin says her father is her daily inspiration as he had to give up his studies and dreams and work multiple jobs to support the family.
She feels beauty pageants are still relevant today because she believes that the Miss South Africa title is an opportunity for a woman to have one of the most empowering jobs in the nation for a year.
Apart from her mother, her female role model is former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, because she “protected our nation with unwavering courage, taking on some of the most powerful men in the country with grace, wit and integrity”.
At the gym she listens to hip-hop but when relaxing enjoys Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Hozier and Steve Aoki.
Mobapane in Pretoria
Graduated with a B.Com in Supply Chain Management at the University of Pretoria and works as an analyst and project coordinator. Currently studying for a B.Com Honours in Logistics Management at the University of Johannesburg.
A real gym bunny, she also enjoys hosting, cooking and planning game nights. Keabetswe names her female role model as Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook) because she went against what she knew and broke the glass ceiling.
The 25-year old says she loves being around and meeting different people from all walks of life but can be somewhat of an introvert, restoring her energy in solitude.
She loves the TV series The Walking Dead, listening to Bethel Music, Hillsong Worship and CRC Music and eating mala mogodu (tripe).
Centurion in Pretoria
A second-year law student at Unisa.
Kgothatso says that if she is crowned Miss SA she wants to bring hope to those who feel mistreated, misplaced or misunderstood.
Born with a facial birthmark, Kgothatso says people would make her feel so insecure about it when she was growing up. “That led to me having low self-esteem and feeling like I was less of a person,” she says.
She admires former Miss SA and Miss World Rolene Strauss whose grit and determination is something she strongly believes in.
Confident, ambitious and a go-getter, Kgothatso enjoys watching wrestling, loves old school R’n’B and confesses her guilty pleasure is spending money on clothes and food instead of saving it for something more significant.
Flash TV fact: Kgothatso had a cameo role in an episode of Isithembiso 2.
Margate in KZN, currently living in Johannesburg.
Graduated with a B.Com in Financial Management, is the owner of a small pizza take-away restaurant and is a part-time model.
Apart from her mother, Lisa's role model is Michelle Obama who has shown her the importance of empowering other women by sharing stories.
She has two older sisters, Tabisa (30) and Yum-Yum (29), who was named after the peanut butter.
Lisa would love to meet the actress Viola Davis because she is “so fierce and unafraid to take risks and I believe that is why she has become so successful in her chosen field”.
Describing herself as driven, compassionate and resilient, Lisa loves pizza and a good bowl of pasta.
The Top 16 were chosen by: actress and motivational speaker Leandie du Randt, Miss South Africa 2015 Liesl Laurie, former runway model and casting director Andiswa Manxiwa, Miss South Africa 2010 Bokang Montjane-Tshabalala and Women’s Health editor Danielle Weakley.
Loren Leigh Jenneker
Currently living in Centurion, Pretoria and born in Port Elizabeth.
Studying for a B.Com degree in Finance at the University of Johannesburg.
Loren plans on doing her honours in investments and wants to work towards becoming a forensic accountant. She's also a full-time model at Boss Models.
An avid reader - currently reading
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho - she also collects book donations and tutors children who are not at the required reading level.
Her music choice is based on her mood, so in the morning she listens to praise and worship to start the day on a good note, otherwise her favourite is The Internet and Kaytranada.
Her celeb crush is Johnny Depp “because I love his spirit and quick wit” and her guilty pleasure is a milktart cronut.
Kagiso in Krugersdorp
A freelance junior technical sound assistant and an events manager assistant with a post graduate diploma in multimedia and web design from CTU Training Solutions.
She believes the Miss SA pageant is not just about having the right face and body, but also about finding young women who are future leaders of the country.
A previous Miss SA who has inspired her is Jacqui Mofokeng “because she broke barriers and showed every young black woman that it’s possible to be crowned Miss SA”.
She admires the filmmaker Ava DuVernay “who is showing us that you have to be bold, you have to be brave, you can use your gift, your purpose to tell a story and be a voice for those that were shut out by the world.”
Rockville in Soweto
Has a B.Tech in Marketing Management from the University of Johannesburg and is working as a private banker at a leading financial institution.
First princess in both Miss Earth 2018 and Miss Rivonia, Nompumelelo wants to be Miss SA to inspire and empower others by proving that any goal is attainable through hard work and determination.
One of her role models is Nomzamo Mbatha, a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador who has dedicated herself to helping refugee women and children in Africa.
She keeps fit and active by playing netball and golf and is a trainer at The Model Academy teaching catwalk, confidence building and etiquette.
She'd most like to meet the Minister of Education, Angie Motshega, as she has a passion for education.
Flash TV fact: Nompumelelo played a model on an episode of 7de Laan last year.
Sasha-Lee Laurel Olivier
Studying for a marketing and psychology degree at Wits while also working as a model.
A former Miss SA that inspires Sasha-Lee is Amy Kleinhans-Curd, who in 1992 “displayed courage in choosing not to carry the old South African flag”.
Her role models include Vusi Thembekwayo, as she admires his tenacity in the face of adversity and Oprah Winfrey, who she says taught her to be true to her story and stand for something.
Sasha-Lee enjoys fishing and is an art lover, so can often be found in an art gallery or museum.
Describing herself as resilient, empathetic and positive, she is a proud member of the Bey-hive fanclub and also loves Coldplay.
Her fave TV series is
The Big Bang Theory and she loves pizza and cheesecake.
The winner will win R1-million in cash, as well as additional prizes. The runner-up will win R250,000 and all 16 will receive R25,000.
Sibabalwe (Siba) Gcilitshana
From a village called Blythswood, close to the town of Nqamakwe in the Eastern Cape, but is now based in Bellville in Cape Town.
Has her Honours in Justice and Transformation from UCT and works as a parliamentary officer and researcher for Equal Education.
Her mother is a trained performing artist and her step-father is a medical doctor and works for the South African Blood Donations Service as a lead consultant in cellular therapy and novel products. She also has a six-year-old sister.
Siba loves singing, meditating, hiking, cooking, traveling, catching-up with current affairs, self-care, spending time with her family, reading and catching up with her favourite TV series Killing Eve.
Chatsworth, KwaZulu Natal
Has a Bachelor of Social Science degree in General and Industrial Psychology from UKZN Howard Campus and will next pursue her honours degree in clinical psychology. She's also a model affiliated to Topco model agency in Cape Town, Edit Models in Turkey and Models International in Durban.
Xia also teaches confidence, ramp walking, model etiquette and self-esteem at Models International.
Her role models include Madiba, Princess Diana, Oprah, Ellen De Generes and Sushmita Senn (Miss Universe 1994 and a Bollywood actress).
She loves a good horror movie as well as comedies and has kept journals from the age of 12. Her local and international celeb crushes are Chad Le Clos and Will Smith respectively.
A first year Business Information Technology student at the University of Johannesburg and model at Boss Models.
Zanele has won more than 70 pageant titles, the first being Little Miss Dobsonville in 2011.
Her two female role models are her mother, who raised her and her three sisters on her own, and Bokang Montjane-Tshabalala, Miss SA 2010, who “believed in herself against all odds to achieve all the dreams she set for herself.”
Zanele was involved in a car accident last year and lost the hearing in her left ear but loves listening to different types of music but mostly Gospel.
Among her accolades are the Thuli Madonsela Foundation Ambassador Awards; Young Lead SA Top 20 Female Change Makers 2018; nominated in the Woman of Stature 2018.
She loves chocolate, has a crush on Maps Maponyane and Will Smith and enjoys watching The Queen.
Currently lives in Gardens, Cape Town but her home is Tsolo, eSdwadweni in the Eastern Cape.
Graduated with a ND Public Relations Management from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and is currently completing B.Tech in PR at the same institution while working at Ogilvy Cape Town in an under-graduate programme.
Her role models are her parents: “My mother taught me the importance of being kind and humble and always helpful to those around me and my father taught me the importance of an education, hard work and discipline.”
She has three sisters, who she counts as her best friends, and she would love to meet Caster Semenya to learn more from women like her “because they know what it takes to live an impactful life.”
Zozibini is a hard-core Marvel fan, loved Game of Thrones
and has a crush on Jesse Williams (Grey's Anatomy).
These profiles are from the Miss South Africa organisers and were sent to the media on the day of the Top 16 announcement (11 July 2019).
The organisers have also stated (on social media and at a press conference) that the contestants include "plus size" models for the first time (Beulah and Sasha-Lee) and a contestant who openly self-identifies as queer (Siba).
Members of the public can vote for their favourite contestant on the Miss South Africa website.
The winner will automatically make the Top 10 on the night.