Opportunities: Looking to Africa


Derek Hanekom

Immediate Past National Minister of Tourism

Mr. Derek Hanekom was appointed as the Minister of Tourism in the South African Government in 2014 after serving as the Minister of Science and Technology since October 2012.

Minister Hanekom was born and went to school in Cape Town. After school, he completed his compulsory conscription, and then travelled and worked abroad.

On his return to South Africa, he joined the ANC, actively supporting the underground while farming. He and his wife were arrested in 1983 and charged with treason.

After serving a three-year period in prison, he worked with the trade union movement in Johannesburg, until his wife’s release from prison in 1987, and their subsequent deportation to Zimbabwe.

He returned to South Africa in 1990 and was appointed Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs from 1994 to 1999, piloting various reform bills through Parliament which aimed to redress the injustices and inequities caused by apartheid laws and the 1913 Land Act. He was appointed Deputy Minister of Science and Technology in 2004 and promoted to Minister in 2012.

In 2019 Mr. Hanekom resigned from Parliament after serving the tourism industry with distinction as Minister of Tourism.