New Tourism Minister announced

Derek Hanekom new Tourism Minister

May 26th, 2014 by Susan Reynard

President Jacob Zuma announced his new cabinet yesterday (25 May 2014) and one of the major changes directly affecting the tourism and hospitality industry was the appointment of Derek Andre Hanekom as the new Minister of Tourism. He takes over from Marthinus van Schalkwyk, who has held this position from 2004 to 2009, when the Department included Environmental Affairs, as well as from 2009 until yesterday, during which time it focused on tourism alone.
Hanekom was previously the Minister of Science and Technology from 4 October 2012 and has served as a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the African National Congress (ANC) since 1994, according to the Government website (


According to the same Government website, Hanekom completed his schooling in Cape Town, matriculating in 1970. After compulsory conscription, he spent time overseas in his early 20s and on his return worked in farming.
Hanekom and his wife were arrested for their anti-apartheid activities and after they had served their prison terms, and after a stint working with trade unions, they were deported to Zimbabwe and went into exile. He returned to South Africa after the unbanning of political organisations in 1990 to work at the ANC headquarters, where he was responsible for policy formulation on land and agricultural matters during the period of negotiations prior to the first democratic elections in 1994.
Prior to his appointment as Minister of Science and Technology, Hanekom served as Deputy Minister of Science and Technology from 29 April to 3 October 2012; as Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs from 1994 to 1999; and he served as a Member of Parliament from 1999 until 2004. He also serves as the Deputy Chairperson of the Board of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, according to the Government website providing information on its various leaders.
Many will agree that outgoing minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk has been a steady and positive leader of the Tourism Department for the past ten years and has achieved many of the major goals set out to grow the tourism industry for the appeal of both domestic and international visitors, as well as increase its contribution to GDP, job creation, skills development and overall successful marketing of South Africa as a popular destination to the world.
The Southern African Tourism Services Association (SATSA) has been quick to extend its official congratulations on behalf of the inbound tourism industry to the new Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom. The organisation also welcomes the re-appointment of Deputy Minister Thokozile Xasa who has shown her familiarity and interest in the industry she serves throughout her previous period in the same position.
SATSA CEO David Frost says: “We are incredibly fortunate to have Derek Hanekom as our new Minister of Tourism. I worked closely with Minister Hanekom when he was Minster of Agriculture in the 1990s when I was at The Premier Group on de-regulating the agro-food sector and building competitiveness fora. He will bring a considered and balanced wisdom to the sector, and I for one, can’t wait to work with him again.”
SATSA also thanked outgoing Minister of Tourism Martinus Van Schalkwyk for his exemplary work in growing and raising the profile of tourism in the country during the past ten years, and wishes him and his support team well.

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