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Pravin Gordhan (South Africa)

Receives the third-highest civilian award in India

Pride of Our Community

The government of India on Friday announced the names of the Padma awardees for 2019
and South Africa's Public Enterprises Minister Pravinbhai Gordhan was on the list.

Pravinbhai was awarded the Padma Bhushan for exceptional and distinguished service, the
third-highest civilian award in India. He received the award on the 26th Jan 2019 when India
celebrated 70th Republic Day.

Pravinbhai's father Jamnadas Gordhanbhai Dhanak lived in South Africa for many years.
Pravinbhai (born 12 April 1949 in South Africa) is originally from Satapur, Gujarat served
as Minister of Finance from 2009 until 2014 and again from 2015 until 2017, and as Minister 
of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs from 2014 until 2015.
He is currently serving as the Minister of Public Enterprises. 

Pravinbhai is the first Parajiya Pattni Soni who has been bestowed with such a high award by
the Indian Government.
Associated with members of the Natal Indian Congress (NIC) in 1971, Pravinbhai was elected
to its executive council in 1974.

Our Jamnagar Samaj committee upon hearing the news sent an email congratulating Pravinbhai.
Pravinbhai acknowledged the email and thanked the community for their good wishes.
He is featured on the front page of Jamnagar Parajiya Prakash.

We at Pattni Connection congratulate Pravinbhai on being awarded the Padma Bhushan and
wish very best of luck in all his future endeavours.

Pravinbhai Jamnadas Gordhan (Dhanak)
featured in Parajiya Prakash Jan/Feb 2019 issue


Pravinbhai Jamnadas Gordhan (Dhanak) sworn in as S. African finance minister

Dr. Pravinbhai Jamnadas Gordhan was sworn in as finance minister at the presidential guest house in Pretoria on May 11, 2009. A Hindu prayer started off the inauguration of South African President Jacob Zuma at the Union Buildings on Saturday.

As Indian Vice-President Hamid Ansari joined heads of state of 28 other countries, South African Hindu Maha Sabha president Ashwin Trikamjee recited a few lines in Sanskrit before translating them into English and making a plea for divine guidance to assist Zuma in resolving a range of challenges facing the country under his leadership.

Pravinbhai Jamnadas Gordhan, the former head of South Africa's tax authority, was sworn as finance minister on Monday, 11th May 2009. It was a historical event and a proud moment for the Parajiya Pattni Soni community.



Dr. Pravinbhai Jamnadas Gordhan (Dhanak) - Minister of Finance - Government of South Africa

Pravinbhai was born on 12th April 1949 to his mother Rumbaben and father Jamnadasbhai  Gordhan and is married to Vanitha Raj.


He graduated as a pharmacist from the University of Durban Westville in 1973 and became involved in politics as a student, helping organize opposition to all-white rule

for the ANC and the South African Communist Party.

Key points:

*Pravinbhai  played a key role in negotiations between the ANC and the National Party government( the white government) leading to South Africa's first all-race elections in 1994.

He was instrumental in negotiations with the western governments as well.

* He was a member of parliament between 1994 and 1998 for the African National Congress.

* He was elected as Chairperson of the Parliamentary Constitutional Committee, which had oversight over the implementation of the new constitutional order.

* At the same time, he played a leading role in drafting the present Constitution.

*He also led the process of formulating a new policy framework for local government transformation.

*After the ANC took power under Nelson Mandela he was appointed a lawmaker and chairman of a committee overseeing the implementation of a new constitution.

* During this period of Apartheid era of the white ruling government, Pravinbhai was detained several times by the then south African police for his revolutionary activities
incorporating the African National Congress.

Pravinbhai joined the South African Revenue Services in 1998 and was tasked with overhauling its customs and revenue administration. The following year he was named the
Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (SARS). The establishment of the South African Revenue Service as a separate entity from the public service enabled
Pravinbhai to hire tax experts and accountants who had the expertise to clamp down on widespread tax evasion and close numerous tax loopholes. Annual tax collections
more than trebled over the decade he was in charge. He also oversaw a revamp of the agency's administration systems, enabling it to register thousands of new taxpayers
and for tax returns to be submitted over the Internet.

Since 1999 he dramatically boosted the collection rates. It collected nearly 100 percent of targeted revenue for the year ending March 31, some 625 billion rand ($74 billion), just
two billion short of target.


In 2002, Pravinbhai Dhanak 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.


Doctorate of Commerce honoris causa from University of South Africa (May 2007)

Doctorate of Law honoris causa from the University of Cape Town (June 2007)

DTech: Business Administration from the Free State Central University of Technology (March 2009)


Pravinbhai Awarded "Commander of the Order of the Crown"

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, Pravinbhai 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.


The Order of the Crown, introduced in 1897, comprises 5 degrees - Grand Cordon or Grand Cross, Grand Officer, Commander, Officer, and Chevalier.


In July 2006, he completed his term as Chairperson of the World Customs Organisation - a position he held for an unprecedented five terms. In 2004 his contract as
Commissioner of SARS was extended for another five years.



Positions held:

*Worked as a pharmacist at the King Edward VII hospital in Durban until he was expelled after his detention by the police. (1974 - 1981)

*Participated in the in multi-party talks at the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA). (1990)

*Co-chairperson of the Transitional Executive Council which prepared the country for the 1994 elections. (1991 - 1994)

*Played a role in drafting the White Paper on Local Government which laid the foundation for developing local government authorities

*Chairperson of the Constitutional Committee in Parliament, which had oversight over the implementation of the new constitution, adopted in 1996

*Chairperson of the World Customs Organization (WCO) until July 2006

*Chairperson of the Forum on Tax Administration (FTA) within the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) from 2008


Dhanak History

1152AD - A Dhanak member appointed to take charge of King's finances

As Pravinbhai is a Dhanak, we take a glance at the Parajiya Soni history. There is a very interesting historical fact about the Dhanak families (sankh).
Around in 1152 AD, there was a Parajiya Soni named Jam Kesarji. He was appointed by King Dhalurasha of Bambhanasur in the Sindh province (now in Pakistan)
to take charge of his mint, manufacturing of gold coins and the finances of the kingdom.


Jam Kesarji effective leadership and efficient operations to manage kingdom's finances impressed the King. In order to acknowledge his services for looking
after the kingdom's wealth ('dhan' in Gujarati) the king awarded Jam Kesarji to be called Dhanik (keeper of "dhan"). Dhanik later became known as Dhanak.
Thus Jam Kesarji Dhanak became the first ancestor of the Dhanak pariwar. The lineal ancestors of the Dhanak families, all of whom can be traced back generation by generation
to the founding ancestor Jam Kesarji.


So the history has repeated itself after nearly 850 years by the appointment of Pravinbhai, another Dhanak will be looking after S. Africa's "dhan" as the finance minister.