12 June 2012
South Africa’s minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, has been awarded France’s Knight of the National Order of Merit Agricol in recognition for her services to agriculture.
The award, the highest French order open to a foreign cabinet minister, was announced by France’s agriculture, food, fisheries and rural policy minister, Bruno le Maire, on Monday.
The honour was bestowed in recognition of the “services she has rendered to agriculture”, Le Maire said.
Joemat-Pettersson’s department congratulated her, saying her achievements had been visible in the agriculture sector, which showed 8.8% employment growth in the first quarter of 2012.
“Statistics South Africa’s quarterly labour force survey recorded the creation of 656 000 employment opportunities in the agriculture sector in the last two quarters of 2011 and first quarter of 2012,” the department said in a statement.
“For a sector that’s been losing jobs since the 1970s, the growth in this sector demonstrates a positive turn.”