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National Orders

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.

Order Description

Order of Mapungubwe

Is awarded to South African citizens for achievements that have impacted internationally and served the interests of the Republic of South Africa. The first and highest category of this Order is awarded in platinum. Other categories are Gold, Silver and Bronze.

The Order of the Baobab

Is awarded to South African citizens for distinguished service. It is an award for contributions in the following areas:

•       Business and the economy

•       Science, medicine and technological innovation

•       Community service.

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 of Luthuli

It is awarded to South Africans who have made a meaningful contribution to the struggle for democracy, human rights, nation-building, justice, peace and conflict resolution.

It symbolises the vision of the late Chief Albert Luthuli - the legendary liberation struggle leader and first African recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1961.

Order of Ikhamanga

It is awarded to South African citizens who have excelled in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport.

Mendi Decoration for Bravery

It 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 saving or trying to save the life of another person, the life of another person, or by saving property.