South Africa is the first country in the world to announce how it will hold its annual pageant and find its new titleholder.

Miss South Africa 2020 will be crowned in the first weekend in August as the country starts its Women’s Month celebrations with an entertainment-packed pageant which will be broadcast live on both M-Net and Mzansi Magic.

Entries for this year’s competition open online on the Miss South Africa website at 09h00 today (Monday, May 11).

Says Stephanie Weil, CEO of the Miss South Africa Organisation: “Last year the Miss South Africa Organisation put the entry process online to make it as easy as possible for would-be contestants, as there were no forms to download and no regional auditions to which hopefuls had to travel. We did this in order to reach as many young women as possible and give candidates from any region of the country the opportunity to take part. This was hugely successful and we received a record number of entries last year and expect to better this again in 2020. 

“In this time of Covid-19 and the lockdown, this ‘virtual entry’ has proved to be fortuitous. Those who wish to enter this year can simply visit www.misssa.co.za, answer a number of questions and upload photographs from their social media accounts such as Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. It’s as simple as that.”

Other countries have followed South Africa’s lead this year in regard to the entry process but none have gone on to announce how their pageant will run.

Continues Weil: “The competition – now in its 62nd year – will continue despite everyone being on lockdown. We will select semi-finalists from all the entries we receive, and this will be followed by the judging, which will be done online. We will then reveal our finalists for the finale in August. As always, the final show will feature a number of top South African entertainment acts and designers and will be broadcast live on M-Net and Mzansi. The only difference is that there won’t be a live audience but rather millions watching from the comfort of their own homes.

“We believe that this will help us grow and expand the Miss South Africa brand as there will be myriad opportunities for Miss South Africa fans to engage virtually with this year’s contenders.”

Zozibini Tunzi – who handed over the 2019 Miss South Africa title to Sasha-Lee Olivier when she was crowned Miss Universe in December – encouraged young women to enter: “It is one of the most exciting things I have ever done and it has totally transformed my life. It is the ultimate in female empowerment. 

Tunzi – complete with an exotic face mask – is the face behind the Miss South Africa media campaign which starts today. Last week the Miss South launched its new look logo with the tagline Face Your Power. Embrace Your Future.

“Zozi filmed the commercial in early February during her triumphant homecoming visit. What’s ironic is that we used a mask as part of our reveal! It had nothing to do with Covid-19 – we had no idea that was coming,” says Weil.

She continues: “This year we are looking forward to finding dynamic new contestants who will not only be trained as pageant contestants, but also upskilled and shaped into champions for women’s rights, thought leaders, brand ambassadors and savvy career women with the tools to fulfil their chosen destiny.”

The person who wins this year’s crown has big footsteps to follow in, as Miss South Africa has had a spectacular few years on the international stage. The reigning Miss Universe is Miss South Africa 2019 winner Zozibini Tunzi. Miss South Africa 2018 Tamaryn Green was runner-up at the Miss Universe pageant the previous year while Rolene Strauss was crowned Miss World in 2014 and Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters named Miss Universe in 2017.

Entries for this year’s competition close on May 31. To enter, go to www.misssa.co.za and click on the tab ‘Miss South SA 2020’ and then ‘ENTER NOW’. 

The Miss South Africa Organisation will also be launching the Miss South Africa Foundation this year, details of which will be revealed at a later date.

Miss South Africa is presented by Weil Entertainment in association with M-Net, Mzansi Magic, and Sun International.