Siyanqoba unveiled as Team SA’s Games carrier
July 18th, 2012 | Published in Road Forward
To the fanfare of blaring vuvuzelas, Team South Africa’s official transport to the 2012 Olympic Games in London was rolled out in front of the team at OR Tambo Airport on Wednesday.
The locally branded South African Airways Airbus 340-300 aeroplane was proudly paraded in front of Team SA outside Hangar No3 at OR Tambo’s technical headquarters at the airport.
Minister of Public Enterprises, Mr Malusi Gigaba said to the team: “Go out there to conquer the world and bring back the medals. We have given this plane the name Siyanqoba – we conquer.”
Before the official handover by South African Airways, former President Nelson Mandela was honoured by the team and accompanying dignitaries.
After the national anthem was sung by popular local band Romanz, SAA Technical staff member Professor Benghu led all present in a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday” to Madiba.
Said Chairperson of the SAA Board, Ms Cheryl Carolus: “We’re ready and eager to take Team SA to battle and bring the team home with the medals.” Carolus last week accepted SAA’s award for being voted the best airline in Africa.
“We’re proud to hand over this vibrant, colourful and branded plane for the team.”
For his part, SASCOC President Gideon Sam said: “The hardwork has been done and looking at this beautiful plane how can our team fail to be inspired and go on to deliver the goods in London.”
The colorful design painted on the side of the aeroplane was created by 21-year-old Stellenbosch University student Adri le Roux, whose winning design was one of more than 400 entries received.
A first-year student, Bellville’s Le Roux had to be tracked down in Botswana where she was doing community service work, to be told of her winning efforts.
Also at the handover ceremony, Banyana Banyana soccer captain Amanda Dlamini and men’s hockey vice-captain Marvin Harper accepted hundreds of good-luck messages from SAA passengers.