South African general knowledge: The National Orders and how to earn one

Kitchen Rules South Africans National Orders Third Standing Together

National Orders are the highest awards that a country can bestow on its citizens. The Awards are given out annually at a ceremony hosted by the Presidency.


While spring cleaning the office we found a copy of ‘The National Identity Passport of Patriotism’. The booklet is filled with valuable South African information that we never got taught at school, so we thought we would share it with you, our readers.

The first thing we plan to share is information on the 6 different National Orders. These are awarded to citizens that have gone above and beyond in various fields.

The 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.National Orders

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.National Orders

The Order of the Companions of O R 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.National Orders

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.National Orders

The Order of Mendi 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.National Orders

The Order of Ikhamanga

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

The National Orders are given out at a special ceremony every year. The Government requests citizens to nominate their person of choice the year before. All that is needed is a motivation letter about the person being nominated. Self-nomination or the nomination of public servants is not permitted.

The next time nominations open we will keep you informed. There are so many wonderful South Africans out there doing amazing work.

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Tyler Vivier
Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy. Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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