Cape Town - According to the Miss South Africa Organisation, the annual national beauty pageant will be going ahead, despite 2019 registration delays and the fact that a main sponsor has withdrawn from the competition.
The pageant's social media accounts, which used to be updated almost daily, has slowed down to a crawl, whilst the current titleholder, Tamaryn Green, returned to her studies on 1 April.
The news of the departure of Cell C as a sponsor came as a shock in light of the pageant's recent success stories which included Miss South Africa 2017 Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters being crowned Miss Universe 2017 and Miss South Africa 2018 Tamaryn Green coming in second place at the same pageant last year.
Speaking to Channel24 Stephanie Weil of Nine Squared Communications confirmed that Cell C had withdrawn as sponsor but said the 2019 Miss South Africa pageant would be going forward as planned.
The annual beauty pageant usually takes place during March, with registration opening the year before.
Stephanie could not confirm 2019 registration or pageant dates, but said: "In the next week or so we will be sending out a press release with all details." She also squashed rumours that Tamaryn has ended her reign to return to her medical studies, saying: "Tamaryn Green's reign will end on the night of the pageant when she hands over her crown to her successor."
Cell C's Managing Executive: Corporate Social Investment, Suzette van der Merwe told Channel24: "While we can confirm that our partnership as headline sponsor of this property has come to an end, the value that it has provided to Cell C as a brand has been outstanding."
"Our decision to withdraw as sponsor follows a review of our various sponsorship properties. Cell C as a brand has evolved, and we are looking at new opportunities that are in line with our strategic focus as a business."
Suzette added: "Cell C is exceptionally proud of our sponsorship of Miss South Africa in partnership with Sun International. Globally, Miss South Africa has become a force to be reckoned with, and locally it contributes to national pride. "
Several attempts to reach Sun International has been unsuccessful.