Johannesburg - US President Donald Trump intends to nominate luxury handbag designer Lana Marks as the new ambassador to South Africa, the White House said, almost two years after the last ambassador left under Barack Obama.
The nomination comes at a time of frayed relations between the two countries after a tweet in August in which Trump asked his secretary of state to study South African "land and farm seizures".
South Africa accused Trump of stoking racial divisions with the comments, which it called "misinformed".
African politicians also labelled Trump a racist in January after he was reported to have described some immigrants from Africa and Haiti as coming from "shithole" countries.
"President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate ... Lana J. Marks of Florida, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to South Africa," the White House said in a statement on Wednesday.