This Order was created in 2002, to be awarded to South African citizens for distinguished service. The service awarded is well above and beyond the ordinary call of duty. It is an award for exceptional and distinguished contributions in the following categories.
The struggle for democracy
Building democracy and human rights
Peace and security
Journalism, literature, arts, culture, sport and music
Business and the economy
Science, medicine and technological innovation
This Order can be awarded in three Classes:
Class 1 = Supreme Counsellor of the Order of the Baobab (Gold)
Class 2 = Grand Counsellor of the Order of the Baobab (Silver)
Class 3 = Counsellor of the Order of the Baobab (Bronze)
Symbolism / Design Elements
This Order finds its inspiration from the Baobab which is a tropical African tree. The origins of the name Baobab is part of the many rich legends and mysteries of Africa. It has probably been more often described than any other tree in Africa for among other things its vitality, and magical and symbolic value to indigenous people. The endurance and tolerance shown by the tree in growing old is reflective of the sustained and exceptional service to South Africa that is awarded by this Order. Similarly the service rendered, still ensures the enduring and growing status of South Africa.
The Baobab is an important element in many African agro forestry systems. It provides bark for cloth and rope, fruits for food and fuel, and many other useful products. The familiar, broad and strong protruding root system supports a massive tree commonly known as a place for many important meetings and protection in traditional African societies.
Previous recipients have been among others : Mahatma Gandhi, Cyril Ramaphosa, Sheena Duncan, Nowongile Cynthia Molo