Sport dept vows to continue investing in women in honour of Saray Khumalo

Saray Khumalo is the first black African woman to reach the peak of the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest.

SA mountaineer Saray Khumalo is welcomed at OR Tambo International Airport on 27 May 2019 after returning home from Nepal where she summited Mount Everest. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Sport and Recreation said it would continue investing in women in honour of South African mountaineer Saray Khumalo to ensure gender parity.

Khumalo was celebrated by many on her arrival at the OR Tambo International Airport from Nepal, including Department of Sport director-general Alec Moemi, who praised her for her perseverance.

He said the department would continue investing in women's sports “so that there are many more like her after her and there will be many more young girls who can dream of shattering the glass ceiling”.

Moemi described Khumalo as a national hero.

“Her feat is recognised by the entire country and we are indeed proud as the SA government to say that you are our national hero,” he said.

Khumalo touched down on home soil on Monday and received a hero's welcome at OR Tambo after summiting Mount Everest in a historic feat.

She became the first black African woman to reach the peak of the highest mountain in the world.

Khumalo described her journey towards conquering Mount Everest as both challenging and fulfilling.

The South African mountaineer also paid tribute to her late teammate Irish Professor Seamus Lawless who plunged to his death while descending the mountain.

Last week Thursday South African Football Association president Danny Jordaan announced that players for the South African women’s soccer team, Banyana Banyana, would receive the same bonuses as the men’s senior national team, Bafana Bafana, if they reach the knockout stage of the Fifa Women’s World Cup and Afcon.