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Minister

Mr Pravin Jamnadas Gordhan

PravinGordhan.jpgMr Pravin Gordhan is the Minister of Public Enterprises with a political authority [referred to officially as the Shareholder Representative] of six State-Owned Companies. These are: Transnet (rail, freight, ports and engineering), Eskom (electricity utility), Denel (advanced manufacturing and arms industry), SA Express (one of two national airlines), Alexkor (a diamond miner) and the South African Forestry Company Limited (timber and forestry).​​

Pravin Gordhan is an activist at heart. His involvement in the anti-apartheid struggle goes back to the 1970s and 1980s when he was an organiser in the student movement and a prominent leader in civic structures.  After qualifying as a pharmacist in 1974, he worked at Durban’s King Edward VIII hospital until 1981 when he was expelled by the hospital administration for his involvement in resistance politics. He spent four years underground in the 1980s and became intricately involved in the South African Communist Party and African National Congress.

He played a pivotal role in South Africa’s transition as an ANC participant in the multi-party talks at the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA), and as co-chair of the Transitional Executive Council.  He chaired the Constitutional Committee, which had oversight over the implementation of the new Constitution, that was adopted by Parliament in May 1996.  He continued to serve actively as an ANC MP until March 1998 when he joined SARS as Deputy Commissioner.  He was appointed as Commissioner in November 1999.  It is during the next decade that SARS was built into a formidable tax and customs administration that is recognised world-wide, for its efforts in enabling the South African government to collect the resources it needed for its development programmes.

In May 2009 in the midst of the global financial crisis and a world-wide recession, he was appointed as Minister of Finance and had the difficult task to navigate the domestic economy out of turbulence towards fiscal stability and a new growth path. In May 2014, he was appointed as Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs only to be re-appointed to the Finance portfolio in December 2015. He remained the Minister of Finance until he was inexplicably recalled at around midnight on 30th March 2017.  He returned to the Legislature as a Member of Parliament and became part of the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises. He continues to serve as member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the African National Congress, having been elected as a NEC member in December 2012.

Mr Gordhan is passionate about democracy, racial and gender equality and working to build a prosperous future for all in South Africa.

Positions
  • Member of Parliament from 1994 until 1998 
  • Chairperson of the Constitutional Committee in Parliament from 1996 
  • Deputy Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service (SARS) from March 1998 
  • Commissioner for SARS from November 1999 
  • Minister of Finance of from 11 May 2009 to 23 May 2014
  • Member of Parliament from 2014 to present
  • Minister of Corporative Governance and Traditional Affairs from 23 May 2014 to 13 December 2015
  • Minister of Finance from 14 December 2015 to 30 March 2017
  • Minister of Public Enterprises from 26 February 2018 to date

Academic Qualifications​
  • ​​Bachelor of Pharmacy from the University of Durban Westville (1973) ​

Career Path ​
  • As a social and political activist, he initially got involved in politics during the late 1960’s
  • Organised and led the student movement and civic structures during the 1970s and 1980s 
  • Took part in the Natal Indian Congress call to boycott elections in the 1980’s 
  • Was detained three times by the apartheid government 
  • Spent four years in the underground structures 
  • Committed member of the South African Communist Party (SACP) and African National Congress (ANC) 
  • Worked as a pharmacist at the King Edward VII hospital in Durban (1974 – 1981) until he was expelled after his detention by the police 
  • 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 central 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 

Academic Awards
  • 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)