On the 24th of June 1995, South Africa hosted the world's most prestigious rugby tournament … the year our national team, the Springboks, lifted the trophy for the first time. On the 24th of June this year, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the team’s momentous win against the All Blacks of New Zealand, Steyn City hosted a special golf day reunion for these iconic sportsmen.
The impressive victory by the Boks in 1995 came a year after the first democratic elections in our country, which resulted in Nelson Mandela becoming president. What happened after the match would go on to become an iconic moment in the history of sport. The photo of Mandela and the then Bok captain Francois Pienaar hoisting the Webb-Ellis trophy, has become an iconic national image, and has entrenched itself in sporting history.
The golf day at Steyn City was preceded by an unforgettable reunion of the Springboks at Ellis Park the day before, when the remaining members of the 1995 squad walked through the tunnel with victorious captain Francois Pienaar rolling scrumhalf Joost van der Westhuizen onto the field in a wheelchair, with the rest of the squad following. The team joined for a photograph in front of a banner that read “Still One Team, Still One Country”. Francois Pienaar said, “In our wildest dreams, we couldn’t have imagined what happened 20 years ago.” Joel Stranksy, whose dramatic drop goal during extra time sealed the victory and the team’s first Rugby World Cup title, said it was very emotional meeting up with his old team-mates.
Steyn City was proud and honoured to host the Springboks for the golf day. Players that participated included Krynauw Otto, Gavin Johnson, Naka Drotske, Adriaan Richter, Hennie Le Roux, Pieter Hendricks, Rudolf Straeuli, Francois Pienaar, Chris Rossouw, Chester Williams and Brendan Venter. It was a fun day of celebrating special memories of the past, and creating new ones for the future.
It was a freezing-cold Friday morning on the 17th of July when our teams arrived to set up the Clothes Line of Care for Mandela Day. The goal was to collect clothes from people in neighbouring suburbs and create a 67m clothes line for those in need from the Diepsloot community. Cedar Gate was open to the public on both Friday the 17th and Saturday the 18th, to drop off their unwanted clothes, which were then pegged to the Clothesline of Care by our volunteers, who took it in turns to pledge their support for the Mandela #67 minutes initiative. The response from the public was overwhelming!
Despite the chilly weather, people arrived in their droves to donate clothes, and a staggering 400m clothing line (333m more than was planned) swung proudly outside the Steyn City gatehouse, with clothes of all shapes, sizes and colours waving in the wind between the trees. What a heart-warming sight! As a gesture of thanks from Steyn City, piping-hot coffee and tea, as well as biscuits, were on offer for all who had so kindly donated clothing.
In excess of 160,000 indigenous trees have been planted in the new lifestyle resort, and these plantations, as well as the river, have become a sanctuary for the local birdlife and wildlife indigenous to the veld here.
The landscaping team, which spends endless hours in the outdoors, have sighted many birds typical to this area, including falcons, francolins, guinea fowl and pheasants, as well as the Giant Kingfisher and several Grass Owls. Visitors driving through Steyn City will notice that the development’s horticulturists have put up nesting logs and have installed owl houses and bat boxes to ensure the preservation of the birdlife. The site also underwent earthworks to transform the land into an urban forest.
Late at night, drivers have often spotted the Cape Hare in the light cast by their car’s headlights, and residents and on-site contractors regularly spot a duiker or jackal.
Wildlife is a major focus at Steyn City, and in time, bird hides will be erected so that residents can observe the prolific birdlife that the landscapers are attracting to estate.