South Africa’s new President Jacob Zuma announced several changes to the structure of government and his executive. Education has been split into two separate ministries in the new government structure – basic education and higher education and training. After these changes, South African Communist Party Secretary General, Blade Nzimande, has become Minister of Higher Education and Training while former Gauteng Education MEC Angie Motshekga heads the ministry of Basic Education. Former Minister of Education Naledi Pandor has moved departments to become Minister of Science and Technology.
Dr Nzimande, who has a doctorate in philosophy, has been the South African Communist Party General-Secretary since 1998. He is also a member of the African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee and National Working Committee. Playing a major role in the transformation of South African education, Dr Nzimande has written several publications, including a book called “Children of wars: the impact of violence on schooling in Natal”. He has also been appointed as a member of the ANC Parliamentary Study Group on Education and as a Council member at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He also chairs the Board of Trustees for the Centre for Educational Policy Development.
Minister Angelina Motshekga was born in Pimville, Soweto. She holds a BA Education, B Ed from the University of the North and a Masters Degree in Education from the Wits University . She has published and conducted research in education, women’s development and language studies. Motshekga has had extensive involvement in education struggles and experience in education policy development. Her experience as an educator includes teaching at Soweto ‘s Orlando High and lecturing at the Soweto College of Education and Wits University. She also founded and served on various bodies focusing on education and women’s development. She was elected a member of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature in 1999 and was appointed Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Education. She was appointed as MEC for Social Development in 2000 and in April 2004 as MEC for Education.