Van Schalkwyk resigns after new Tourism Minister appointed

Cape Town - Marthinus van Schalkwyk has resigned a day after President Jacob Zuma announced his new cabinet of ministers, with Derek Hanekom as the newly appointed Minister of Tourism.

Mg.co.za reports the former Tourism Minister, and the last leader of the National Party still in government, resigned on Monday - but did not state why he was leaving or what he would be doing next.

The move comes a day after President Zuma appointed Derek Hanekom as the new Minister of Tourism, effectively confining Van Schalkwyk to the back benches of the ANC's National Assembly.

Van Schalkwyk, who served as a Cabinet minister for 10 years from 2004, thanked Zuma and former presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe for appointing him into their Cabinets, calling it a "privilege and an honour".

The former Tourism Minister confirmed he would ensure “a smooth and seamless handover and transition" between him and his successor, the newly appointed Hanekom.

Hanekom's appointment has been welcomed by the Tourism Business Council of South Africa, with CEO, Mmatsatsi Ramawela saying, "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."

TBCSA Chairperson Mavuso Msimang said, "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."

 
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