Runners-up are Ziphozakhe Zokufa from the Eastern Cape (1st Princess) and Limpopo’s Matlala Mokoko (2nd Princess).
Strauss – a medical student from Bloemfontein and University of the Free State’s first test tube baby – said she was truly humbled by her victory.
In her Miss South Africa acceptance speech Strauss said: “Oh, how I love South Africa! I can live, speak, learn and love freely. My dreams are developed and become reality here. Our country is my pride and my purpose has and will always lie within it.
“Not only does the Miss South Africa title have the ability to take me places, but I will also learn from the women who walked this path before me.
“I am who I am today because of our country and the opportunities I have received from her generous hand. For me this will be a year of giving back; giving thanks and being a true example of the potential women and all South Africans can have in our country.
“My passion for Miss South Africa and health is connected. Together with the sponsors’ initiatives such as Cell C’s Take a Girl Child to Work Day, which I will be putting my name to, I’d love to get different health disciplines involved and emphasise the importance of women’s health and its empowering effect on our lives. We are capable of so much more when we are healthy; physically, mentally and emotionally.”
Sun International’s Alison McKie said: “I think the new Miss South Africa is truly representative of the Rainbow Nation and we are sure she will go on to make a meaningful contribution to the lives of many South Africans.”
Suzette van der Merwe of Cell C said: “May this year’s winner inspire a nation and make a difference.”
As Miss South Africa 2014 Strauss has won cash, a car and products valued at more than R1.3 million. She also gets thousands of rands in cash and study bursaries to award to South Africans that she meets during her reign.
Cell C is also giving the winner access to R200 000 to spend on random acts of kindness.
The Miss South Africa judges were Amy Kleinhans-Curd, Miss South Africa in 1992; magazine editor, poet and writer, Kojo Baffoe; TV presenter, model and cosmetics brand ambassador Bonang Matheba; high-profile radio personality and TV presenter Anele Mdoda and Pnina Fenster, editor of Glamour magazine.