A former Miss Durban University of Technology (DUT), Zabelo Hlabisa, was crowned Miss Earth South Africa at the Southern Sun Sandton hotel in Johannesburg on Saturday, 09 September 2023.
The 2018 Miss DUT, who is also pursuing her Master’s degree in Management Sciences at DUT, impressed the judges and the audience with her passion for taking care of the environment and its people.
The 2023 Miss Earth South Africa pageant was bigger and better as it celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. This prestigious event featured esteemed judges, Zizo Tshwete, JJ Tabane, Abigail Visagie and Leanne Manas.
Miss Earth South Africa 2023, Zabelo Hlabisa is passionate about the environment and its people.
Hlabisa (29) from Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal is also a fully trained traditional healer and a social entrepreneur. She eclipsed nine other finalists to take home the Miss Earth South Africa 2023 crown. Hlabisa also managed to make a positive impression on the United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator in South Africa, Nelson Muffuh who graced the event. He was motivated by Hlabisa’s incredible work in raising awareness on global environmental changes.
Along with the first runner up of Belinde Schreuder, Hlabisa had an interview on eNCA on Sunday night, 10 September 2023, to discuss plans on how they intend to contribute to sustainable development.
Hlabisa raised concerns about the people of South Africa not being educated about environmental issues. She spoke at length about some of the environmental issues that she plans to tackle going forward.
“I want to embark on roadshows, introducing green infrastructure solutions, especially to schools and low-income communities, on the impact of climate change. Miss Earth South Africa is an organisation that focuses more on empowering young women and also taking care of the environment and its people. You cannot just take care of the environment, forgetting the people who live in it,” shared Hlabisa.
She indicated that the Miss Earth South Africa organisation has feeding schemes and many other programmes that people do not know about. Hlabisa emphasised that Miss Earth South Africa was not just a beauty pageant, but it was a leadership programme, where the participants take care of the needs of the people and the environment. “Going on forward, we will be looking at those interventions, feeding more people and doing a lot more for our country as a whole,” added Hlabisa.
She is excited and looking forward to representing South Africa at Miss Earth, which will be hosted in Vietnam in December this year. However, her focus right now is on South Africa. Hlabisa wants to be the ambassador for South Africa, in South Africa and focus on serving her people.
Pictured: Miss Earth South Africa 2023, Zabelo Hlabisa.