Cape Town - Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis and forward Thembi Kgatlana have been invited to the 2019 State of the Nation Address (SONA).
The pair, who recently won the 2018 CAF Women's National Team Coach of the Year and CAF Women’s National Player of the Year, respectively, will be the guests of President Cyril Ramaphosa.
"2018 has been an amazing year, and so far, 2019 has started with a bang not just for me but Banyana Banyana," said Ellis as quoted by the official SAFA website.
"What a better way to kick start this with an invite to one of the most sought-after events of the year.
"I really appreciate this honour of being at this prestigious gathering. Thank you very much to the President."
Ellis added: "This also comes hot on the heels of the President calling us personally and wishing us well ahead of the final of the 2018 Women's AFCON in Ghana.
"Also, this is just after we recently had a tour of parliament while in Cape Town where our guide was telling us what transpires around the precinct, in particular about the SONA. I feel truly blessed and humbled."
However, Ellis will be the only one to attend SONA as Kgatlana already has prior club commitments on the day.
"On a different day, I would not have missed this for the world but there are some pressing issues regarding my club that I have to attend to and it is not clear how long they will take," said Kgatlana, who also won the 2018 CAF Goal of the Year.
"Unfortunately, I will have to decline the invite but thank you to the State President for the invitation, I am truly humbled by this gesture."
The event takes place on Thursday, February 7 in Cape Town.