Head coach Hugo Broos has made clear that Bafana Bafana will give their best in their attempts to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Bafana have been drawn alongside Ethiopia, Ghana and Zimbabwe in Group G of the CAF leg of the World Cup qualifiers and are set to get their qualifying campaign underway with a clash against the latter pairing next month.
Broos announced a preliminary 31-man squad for those encounters on Thursday afternoon and stressed that his new-look team would be doing everything in their power to earn their spot on the plane to next year's showpiece tournament.
"Let me be clear, I want to go to Qatar, don't let there be a misunderstanding," Broos said. "I would like to be at AFCON 2023, I would like to go to the World Cup in 2026, this is my ambition.
"This is the ambition I want in my team and again, as you see for example now, qualification for the World Cup as an African country is extremely difficult. There are ten groups of four that makes 40 countries, and only five of them will be in Qatar.
"When you compare that with Europe for example, you have more chance to be there. But again, the ambition has to be to go to Qatar next year. But because we are rebuilding with a new young team, maybe it doesn't happen so we don't have to be disappointed.
"In my first press conference, I said it too, don't be too disappointed if we don't [qualify]. Don't criticise players, coaches, too much if we are not there. The most important rendezvous is AFCON but why should we let go of the World Cup? If we have a chance, let us dream, let us dream.
"If we [take] two points, and this is not much, from the first [two] games, we are in the running, and if we can win two times against Ethiopia, I think we will have a big chance to be first in the group. This has to be our ambition and this is my ambition too..."
Scroll through the gallery to see the 10 highest-ranked African nations ahead of next month’s World Cup qualifiers