The Presidency invites all South Africans to use August, as the final month for nominations for National Orders, to identify persons nationally and globally who have served the nation or attained personal achievement in exceptional ways.
National Orders are the highest awards that a country, through its President, bestows on its citizens and eminent foreign nationals.
The President as the fount (holder, cradle, main source) of honour in the country bestows these Orders and Decorations and is assisted by the Director-General in The Presidency, who is the Chancellor of National Orders and an Advisory Council on National Orders, in the execution of this responsibility.
The Chancellor of National Orders, Ms Phindile Baleni, calls on citizens to make nominations for National Orders as part of sustaining the integrity, inclusiveness and diversity of this institution of social cohesion and nation-building.
Ms Baleni said: “The National Orders are a platform for the recognition of fellow South Africans and persons globally who, in exceptional ways, have historically made or are currently making important or interesting contributions to all aspects of our national life.
“From politics to popular culture, as well as the recognition of bravery, the National Orders give us an opportunity annually to be inspired by and grateful for people who have done outstanding things to shape our past and our future.
“We therefore invite people from all walks of life and backgrounds – including the youth of our country – to identify from their communities and sectors persons who, on the basis of exceptional achievements or contributions, deserve the honour of a National Order.”
The birth of a non-racial and non-sexist democracy in South Africa in 1994 necessitated a review of the system of National Orders.
A review was conducted from May 1998 by the newly-instituted President’s Advisory Council on National Orders and the Orders were progressively instituted in 2002 and 2003.
The Order of Mapungubwe is awarded to South African citizens for excellence and exceptional achievement.
The Order of the Baobab is awarded to South African citizens for distinguished service. The service awarded is well above and beyond the ordinary call of duty. It is an award for exceptional and distinguished contributions in the following categories: business and the economy: science, medicine and technological innovation, and community service.
The Order of the Companions of OR Tambo is awarded to foreign nationals (Heads of State and Government) and other foreign dignitaries. It is awarded for friendship shown to South Africa. It is therefore an order of peace, co-operation and active expression of solidarity and support. The Order constitutes an essential pillar of international and multilateral relations.
The Order of Luthuli is awarded to South Africans who have made a meaningful contribution to the struggle for democracy, human rights, nation-building, justice and peace, and conflict resolution.
The Order of Ikhamanga is awarded to South African citizens who have excelled in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport.
The Mendi Decoration for Bravery is awarded to South African citizens who have performed an extraordinary act of bravery that placed their lives in great danger, or who lost their own lives including in trying to save the life of another person, or by saving property, in or outside the Republic of South Africa.
Nomination forms that outline simple guidelines to proposers of nominees can be downloaded at https://www.thepresidency.gov.za/download/file/fid/2785
Submissions must include:
• an introductory paragraph with a summary of the nominee’s achievements
• a list of exceptional milestones reached by the nominee in his/her career and/or international arena, and
• a description of the exceptional, outstanding, dedicated service or act of bravery rendered by the nominee.
The closing date for nominations: 31 August 2023.
Details of the annual National Orders Ceremony will be provided at a later date.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Presidency: Republic of South Africa.