Press Release

02 December 2016

Closing date for public to nominate distinguished persons for the 2017 UBUNTU Awards is nearing

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) will host the Annual Ubuntu Awards on 11 February 2017 in Cape Town. The Awards will be held under the theme: “OR Tambo… in his footsteps”.

The Awards celebrate South African citizens who, through their integrity, passion, patriotism and humility, have raised the South African flag high on the international stage.
The public is encouraged to nominate online on the Ubuntu Awards website before or by the closing date of 08 December 2016.  

All nominees for the Ubuntu Awards should meet the following broad criteria of:

  • Creating a favourable image for South Africa.
  • Engaging with, and influencing, the international public
  • Making a sustainable and enduring impact.
  • Embodying the values of Integrity, Passion, Patriotism and Humility.
  • Celebrating and promoting African unity and diversity.

The Award categories include:

  • Ubuntu Economic Diplomacy Award (Africa),
  • Ubuntu Economic Diplomacy Award (Global),
  • Ubuntu Social Responsibility Award,
  • Ubuntu Arts and Cultural Diplomacy Award (Veteran)
  • Ubuntu Arts and Cultural Diplomacy Award (Youth)
  • Ubuntu Sport Diplomacy Award,
  • O. R. Tambo Lifetime Achievement in Diplomacy Award, and
  • O. R. Tambo Lifetime Achievement Award.

As from 12 December 2016, the public can vote for nominees in the following two categories:

1. Ubuntu Arts and Cultural Diplomacy Award (Veteran)
2. Ubuntu Arts and Cultural Diplomacy Award (Youth)

All Award winners, except in the aforementioned two categories, will be determined by a panel of judges.


In 2015, the annual Ubuntu Awards were launched to celebrate South African citizens who play an active role in projecting a positive image of South Africa internationally. Through excellence in their chosen fields, these proud South Africans serve as global ambassadors of our nation.

Next year’s Ubuntu Awards will be hosted by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, and is expected to take place in February 2017 in Cape Town. The event will take place after the opening of Parliament and will bring together captains of industry, leaders from civil society, members of Cabinet and eminent persons in addition to all Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to South Africa.

The Awards are aimed at recognizing and honouring South African industry leaders, organizations and extraordinary citizens for their distinguished service and contribution to promoting South Africa’s national interests and values throughout the world. Each award will be given to an organization and/ or an individual, who through excellence, innovation, creativity, social responsibility and patriotism, distinguished themselves as exceptional ambassadors of South Africa.

The year 2017 marks the centenary of Oliver Tambo’s life. Therefore, the theme of the Ubuntu Awards will be: “In his footsteps.” The Ubuntu Awards thus recognise South African citizens who embody the principles of OR Tambo, namely: Integrity, Passion, Patriotism and Humility.

Previous award winners include South African companies MTN and Nandos, top Olympic athletes Wayde van Niekerk and Chad le Clos (Ubuntu Sports Diplomacy Award), DJ Black Coffee and Hugh Masekela (Ubuntu Cultural Diplomacy Award), the former South African Chief of State Protocol, Ambassador Billy Modise and the late South African liberation struggle stalwart and diplomat, Mme Ruth Mompati (OR Tambo Lifetime Achievement Award) to mention but a few.

Enquiries: Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, 082 884 5974


OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road




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