25/01/2018 09:36 SAST | Updated 26/01/2018 19:37 SAST

Flood Of Entries For Miss SA 2018 -- All Thanks To The 'Demi-Leigh Effect'!

Qhubeka, Demi-Leigh! Qhubeka!

Miss Universe 2017, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters.
GULSHAN KHAN via Getty Images
Miss Universe 2017, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters.

Miss South Africa judges have their jobs cut out for them when the time comes for regional stages of the competition.

This is all thanks to Miss Universe, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, and her success on the global stage.

According to Eugine Boniface, Sun International's group manager for content, entries for the coveted crown of Miss SA have increased drastically.

He said thanks to Nel-Peters' win on the global stage, more women have been entering the national pageant.

"Her win has really just changed the whole face and shape of Miss South Africa. Going forward, we have big plans to empower women through the platform and to the end, we have developed a concept called Women360, and not only we will we be doing the regional judging, we will have roadshows in cities around the country focusing on all things women," Boniface said.

Speaking to the media during a press briefing at Sandton's The Maslow Hotel, Nel-Peters said she hopes the win inspires young girls to follow their dreams no matter what.

"Just to have been on the Miss Universe stage and to have represented our beautiful rainbow nation was such an enormous honour. Being on the stage alone, aside from winning, was truly life-changing and would not have been possible without the support of South Africa and my sponsors. This crown and this win was a country effort and not a personal victory," Nel-Peters said.

The 22-year-old said she was looking forward to having a good old South African braai, which was one of the things she missed the most about home.

Upon arrival, she was reunited with her dog that she said she had missed.

Nel-Peters was crowned Miss Universe at the Axis Arena in Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas on November 26.

She will be based in New York for the next year and is in South Africa for her official homecoming tour.

During her stay in Mzansi, she will be on a week-long tour that includes a meet-and-greet at the Cell C Connect Centre in Midrand. She will also visit Cape Town, as well as her hometown, Sedgefield.

She will also host a series of her self-defence workshops, entitled "Unbreakable", in Soweto and Cape Town.

From Cape Town, she will revisit victims of the Knysa fires who were beneficiaries of her fund-raising for disaster relief in 2017.

*Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated Nel-Peters is 29 years-old. She is 22. We apologise for the error.