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Derek Hanekom will be taking over the portfolio from Marthinus van Schalkwyk who had established a good working relationship with the local travel and tourism trade.  “We thank our previous Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, for his contribution towards growing our tourism economy and making tourism a key contributor to our GDP, and we wish him well in his future endeavours” says The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) CEO, Mmatsatsi Ramawela.

The Board Chairman of the TBCSA, Mavuso Msimang added that the appointment of Hanekom was a positive move, which was welcomed by the travel and tourism private sector.  “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 South Africa’s successful bid for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project.

CEO of the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA), David Frost remembers working well with Hanekom in driving change in the agriculture sector: “He is a good guy and a hard-working Minister. He is not afraid to get his hands dirty” Frost recalls.

The TBCSA also commends President Zuma on the appointment of ministers in key areas of Transport, Public Enterprises and the establishment of a new ministry for small business development.

The TBCSA reiterates the private sector’s commitment to working with government and providing the necessary support for Minister Hanekom as he settles into his new portfolio.