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Despite Netball New Zealand putting forward a "comprehensive bid" to host the tournament, the International Netball Federation (INF) have awarded South Africa the hosting rights.
It will be the first time an African nation hosts netball's pinnacle event.
INF president Molly Rhone said both were exceptional bids to host the tournament, but South Africa's promise to help grow the game got them over the line.
"The INF Board decided that the significant investment that the South African Government and Western Cape were prepared to make over the next four years in netball facilities and coaching programmes in South Africa, the African continent and beyond would deliver a greater impact on the development of global netball," Rhone said.
"It is an exciting time for netball right now. Our sport is growing in popularity at an unprecedented rate throughout the world. There is increasing competitiveness between the top nations and now three teams from Africa feature in the top 10 of the INF world rankings. We look forward to working with the Organising Committee to bring the INF's most important event to South Africa in 2023."
Netball New Zealand board chairperson Allison Ferguson said it was a disappointing outcome, but wished South Africa the best in their preparations.
"This would have been a fitting way to celebrate 100 years of netball in New Zealand," she said in a statement release by Netball New Zealand.
"I know we would have done a superb job and we certainly had the support of our Netball community, Government and venues, to have made this an outstanding Netball World Cup event.
"We know Netball South Africa will be working hard to ensure it is delivered to a world class standard."