Minister Derek Hanekom awarded with Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
2 June 2016
South African Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, was awarded with the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany at the residence of the German Ambassador in Pretoria on June 2nd. On behalf of the German President, Ambassador Walter Lindner presented the Order of Merit to Minister Hanekom in front of 100 high-level guests.
Minister Hanekom has had a special relation with Germany since his visit of the German primary school in Cape Town. He kept close contact with the German Embassy in Pretoria which resulted in a multitude of bilateral projects. Minister Hanekom was the central to the initiative of the German-South African Year of Science. He contributed to the fruitful cooperation between South Africa and Germany in the fields of science and technology during his tenure at the Department of Science and Technology from October 2012 till April 2014.
During his visit to Germany in April 2013 on the occasion of the final event of the German-South African Year of Science, Derek Hanekom acknowledged the bilateral accomplishment. He underlined his intention to intensify the bilateral cooperation and to work further closely together with German research institutes, universities and companies. Minister Hanekom has been contributing to the bilateral partnership between South Africa and Germany on the same high level of effort in his position as Minister of Tourism since May 2014.
For Germany and South Africa alike tourism is an important industry creating hundred thousands of jobs. In 2014, 79,000 South Africans travelled to Germany representing a growth of 10.4 % over the previous year. In the same year, 274,571 Germans traveled down South to visit the rainbow nation.
Germany’s Federal Grand Cross of the Order of Merit is the highest tribute to individuals for services to the nation and the only decoration of the Federal Republic of Germany. It is awarded for achievements in the political, economic, social and intellectual sphere as well as for outstanding services to the nation in the field of social, charitable or philanthropic work.
As a recipient of the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit, Minister Hanekom will join the ranks of influential people like Egyptian Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mohammed el-Baradei and South African anti-Apartheid figure Denis Goldberg.
Embassy of Germany in South Africa