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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​DHET ​​​​​Leadership​

Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training

Mr Mduduzi Comfort Manana
Mr Mduduzi Comfort Manana
  • Born 12 February 1984, Ermelo, Mpumalanga
  • Holds a BA in Political Science and Sociology
  • Second deputy minister of Higher Education and  
    Training; appointed in 2012; reappointed in 2014

Mr Mduduzi Comfort Manana possesses leadership wisdom that belies his age.He has
dedicated his life to developing those who are on the margins through his drive and passion
for youth development. For him young people should be prepared at an early age for the role
to lead society for their own future prospects. He strongly believes that one of the ways to
realise this possibility is by encouraging young people to be informed, to be engaged, to be
educated and to be selfless in uplifting others. He also believes that government and
the private sector in particular can help the youth of South Africa to be skilled so that they are
able to build a solid foundation for the future of our nation.

Politics has run in Manana's veins from a young age. Born and bred in Ermelo, Mpumalanga,
his political family opened his eyes to the social injustices that continued to torment the
people of South Africa even in post‐Apartheid South Africa. In 1998 at age 14, he joined the
Congress of South African Students (COSAS) and the ANC Youth League (ANCYL). Years
later, he was elected as the Chairperson of the ANC Youth League at the
Nombali Mkhwanazi Branch for three consecutive terms and Branch Treasurer of the ANC
for two consecutive terms. He rose to the ranks of the Regional Executive Committee of the
ANC Youth League as a REC member. He further served as a member of the National
Executive Committee (NEC) of the ANC Youth League for two consecutive terms (serving
in the finance sub‐committee) since 2008. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics and
Sociology from the University of Natal (now UKZN) and a BA (Honours) degree in
International Politics from the University of South Africa (UNISA). Ever an activist, at 19
years of age he was part of the 33 South Africans who volunteered as human shields
during the second War of the Gulf that ensued in the Middle East in 2003.

After the 2009 General Elections, Manana had the distinction of being the youngest Member
of Parliament. He served as a member of the International Relations & Cooperation Portfolio
Committee and the Public Works Portfolio Committee. He was later appointed as Whip of
the Transport Portfolio Committee and later redeployed to the Public Service
& Administration Portfolio Committee (again as Whip).

In 2011, he was appointed as Cluster Whip of the Governance and Monitoring Cluster in
parliament and he also chaired the Steering Committee on Youth Parliament. He also served
as the Commissioner of the Magistrates Commission (a body that appoints and oversees the
work of magistrates in South Africa) and he was appointed as Chairperson of the
Mpumalanga Judicial Committee on Lower Courts.

In June 2012, the President appointed him as the Deputy Minister of Higher Education and
Training, making him the youngest member of the National Executive since the new
democratic dispensation.

After the country's 2014 General Elections, he was re-appointed to the same portfolio. His
grasp of challenges facing young students is acute, thanks to his own student activism within
the South African Student Congress (SASCO). He understands the plight of students who
often have to go to lectures hungry and those whose academic talent gets shelved because of
financial exclusions. Not one to accept the status quo, in his role as Deputy Minister, he is
already championing the idea of strengthening the role of student organizations at institutions
of higher learning. He firmly believes that student organizations should be part of the
solutions to many existing challenges at post‐school learning institutions by providing
responsible student leadership and caring management at these institutions.

But it is not always work and no play for Manana. To relax he travels, plays golf and reads
political literature.


Pretoria Office

123 Francis Baard Street, Pretoria, 0001 Map
Telephone 012 312 6339
Fax 012 326 1161
​PA to the Deputy Minister: Ms Portia Morai

Cape Town Office​​​

Private Bag X9192, Cape Town, 8000 Map
Telephone 021 469 5190

NSFAS celebrates its 25th anniversary​
NSFAS celebrates its 25th anniversary​
10 November 2016 – The South African government, through National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), has funded education for over 1,5 million students, valued at R59 billion.  Talking at the NSFAS head office in Cape Town, Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana says that these funds have helped students from middle class...Full speechYoutube.

Did you know?

Mr Manana has the distinction of being the youngest Member of Parliament, a role he assumed after the 2009 General Elections. 


DHET annual report 2014-15​


Deputy Minister of ​​​Higher Education and Training, Mduduzi Manana, University of the Witwatersrand, University of Natal