WATCH: Excitement at OR Tambo as Springboks get hero's welcome
Cape Town - Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus, captain Siya Kolisi, and vice-captain Handre Pollard were expected to be among the first batch of the Rugby World Cup champion squad members expected to arrive home from Japan today.
While the team is arriving in groups, it hasn't stopped many South Africans from arriving at OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg to show their love for the players.
Some dressed up while others were proudly wearing their Bok jersey.
The Boks will start their Champions Tour in Gauteng on Thursday, with the parade making stops in Pretoria, Johannesburg and Soweto.
They will also parade the prized Webb Ellis Cup in several other towns, before arriving in Cape Town next Monday.
Further times and details would be shared soon, officials said.
President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday said the victory must inspire the country to tackle and overcome its challenges on political, economic and social fronts.
The journey of Springbok captain Siya Kolisi from a township in the Eastern Cape to lifting rugby’s most prized trophy in Japan epitomises the transformation of a sport formerly associated with apartheid segregation, and its potential to unite, Ramaphosa said.
“At a time when South Africa is experiencing profound challenges, we have rallied around the victory in Japan.
‘‘The outpouring of support for the Springboks on the road to the final once again showed the immense potential of sport to unite us as a people.
“We are also united by a shared desire for a country where all can live in peace and comfort, where all have an equal chance to achieve their potential.
‘‘We are united by the vision of a country where the divisions of the past can be overcome, a nation of equality, dignity and respect for human rights.
‘‘Over the past 25 years we have been working together to build that nation.
‘‘And while this is still very much a work in progress, we are firmly on the path to unite, renew and transform our society,” Ramaphosa said on Monday.