The Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service (SARS) Mr Pravin Gordhan was unanimously re-elected as the Chairperson of the Council for the World Custom Organisation (WCO).
As part of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the WCO, the Belgian Government, on behalf of King Albert II, also presented Mr. Gordhan with a special award. The award, called the "Commander of the Order of the Crown", was presented in recognition of Gordhan's leadership as the Chairperson of the Council for the WCO and for his relentless efforts, internationally and domestically, to promote customs integrity.
Mr. Gordhan was re-elected during the June 2002 WCO Council meeting held on 27-29 June in Brussels, Belgium. The award was presented during the closing session of the Council meeting. 161 countries were present during this year's Council meeting.
Prior to the Council meeting, Mr Gordhan chaired the WCO Policy Commission meeting held on 24-26 June in Brussels, Belgium. The Minister of Trade and Industry Mr. Alec Erwin was the special guest for this year's meeting. Minister Erwin gave a presentation outlining the role of customs administrations in developing and maintaining the international rules-based trading system and supporting the seamless movement of goods.
Mr. Gordhan joins three other South Africans who have been honoured with the Order of the Crown. These are Mr. Nicholas Oppenheimer, Officer of the Order of the Crown; Mr. Julian Ogilvie Thopmson, Commander of the Order of the Crown; and Dr. Chris Stals, Grand Officer of the Order of the Crown.
The Order of the Crown, introduced in 1897, comprises 5 degrees - Grand Cordon or Grand Cross, Grand Officer, Commander, Officer, and Chevalier.
ISSUED BY THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN REVENUE SERVICE