Dr Nzimande was appointed as Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation on 30 May 2019. He was Minister of Transport from 27 February 2018 to 25 May 2019. Dr Bonginkosi Emmanuel "Blade" Nzimande was the Minister of Higher Education and Training in the Republic of South Africa from 26 May 2014 until 17 October 2017.
He is a general secretary of the South African Communist Party; chairperson of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education; deputy chair of the Central Committee of the South African Communist Party; and chairperson of the Financial Sector Campaign Coalition.
Dr Nzimande holds a Doctorate in Philosophy specialising in Sociology from the University of Natal.
Dr Nzimande has has lectured at the University of Zululand in 1985, and was a lecturer in Industrial Psychology at the University of Natal in 1987.
He was a Council member at the University of South Africa; a member of the National Deployment Committee of the ANC; chairperson of the board of trustees at the Centre for Educational Policy Development; a council member at the University of Transkei; a council member at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and chairperson of the African National Congress Parliamentary Study Group on Education.
Dr Nzimande has published: Unsocial Science Indicator SA Vol. 11, No. 2; Schooling in the context of violence in SA: the challenges of change, edited by V Maphai, published by Harare SAPES Books; Schooling in the context of violence, Durban: Education Policy Unit; Civil Society and the role of the National Education Coordination Committee (NECC), Durban: Education Policy Unit; Civics are the National Democratic Revolution, Mayibuye No. 5; Political violence and the struggle for control in Pietermaritzburg, Journal of Southern African Studies Vol. 15. No. 3; and Civics and Civil Society: a reply to M Mayekiso, work in progress co-author with M. Sikhosana.
Dr Nzimande has also written a book titled Children of wars: the impact of violence on schooling in Natal Durban: Education Policy Unit.