Derek Hanekom appointed Tourism Minister

May 27, 2014

President Jacob Zuma on Sunday named cabinet veteran, Derek Hanekom, as the new Minister of Tourism.

Hanekom was previously Minister of Science and Technology. He received congratulations from many in the tourism industry on Twitter and replied by tweeting: “Hey, thanks for all your kind tweets! Must say, this beautiful South Africa of ours is a great product to sell. Let's do it together!”

SATSA CEO, David Frost, welcomed the appointment. “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. He will bring a considered and balanced wisdom to the sector, and I for one, can’t wait to work with him again.”

Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) Chairman Mavuso Msimang said the appointment of Hanekom was a positive move, which was welcomed by the travel and tourism private sector. He said: "Derek Hanekom is a 'salt of the earth' type of leader who brings into the portfolio considerable administrative experience.  He served in the Mandela administration as Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs.  He went on to take charge of Science and Technology where he is credited with driving SA's successful bid for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project.”

Hanekom takes over from former Tourism Minister, Marthinus van Schalkwyk. Van Schalkwyk told Tourism Update: “I would like to thank President Zuma for the privilege to have served in his cabinet for the past five years.” Van Schalkwyk welcomed the new Minister of Tourism and said: “I will ensure that a smooth and seamless handover and transition takes place."

The cabinet reshuffle also saw former Minister of Public Enterprises Malusi Gigaba appointed Minister of Home Affairs. This means that SAA will now have to answer to the new Minister of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown. Brown was Premier of the Western Cape in 2008 before the ANC lost control of the province in the 2009 elections. Before that, she was Minister for Economic Development and Tourism.

Business Unity South Africa welcomed Brown’s appointment, saying she had fared well in the Western Cape. “We will work with her to offer our advice and thinking on the role of public enterprises, particularly in getting the infrastructure programme on the road.”

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