South African
Medal Website
South African
Honours and Awards
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Updated: May 2006
© Arthur Radburn


An overview of the South African honours system.

Historical development - An outline of the development of the honours system from the occasional once-off medals awarded by the Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie in the 17th and 18th centuries, through the colonial awards introduced under British rule in the late 19th century, to the royal awards created in the mid-20th century and, finally, the independent South African honours system established in 1952.

Legal aspects - Being official, the honours system is governed by various laws and other legal instruments such as warrants and regulations, which are outlined here.

Post-nominal letters - Following the British tradition, South Africa authorises the recipients of many high-ranking honours to place letters after their names to indicate their awards. They are listed here, in alphabetical order.

Precedence (Order of Wearing) - An overview of the official tables of precedence which set out the sequence in which South African orders, decorations, and medals should be worn.

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