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Buyelwa Patience Sonjica

South Africa

Former Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs.

More by user: aismail
Created: 14th May 2009
Modified: 1st Nov 2010
Professional Information
Professional Areas:
Government of South Africa
Former Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs
Working primarily in:
South Africa

Biographical Information
Buyelwa Patience Sonjica
(At a Glance)
Date of Birth: Mar/23/1950
Gender: female
Place of Origin: South Africa

* Former Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs of the Republic of South Africa since 11 May 2009. Was fired on 31 October and replaced by Edna Molewa.

Academic Qualifications

    * Attended Primary education (1967) and high school education (1969) in Port Elizabeth.
    * Attended Higher Primary Teacher's course at Rubusoma Training College (1977).
    * Obtained Secondary Teachers Certificate from Vista University at Port Elizabeth campus (1983).
    * Bachelor of Arts degree from Vista University majoring in English and isiXhosa.
    * Bachelor of Arts honours degree from Rhodes University majoring in isiXhosa.
    * Currently studying towards a diploma in economics with the University of London.

Career/Memberships/Positions/Other Activities

    * Indestex Textile Company (1970 - 1971).
    * Student Nurse at Livingstone Hospital (1971 - 1972).
    * Teacher at Phakamisa High School (1979 - 1980).
    * Teacher at Emfundweni Higher Primary (1980 - 1992).
    * Teacher at Dower Teacher Primary College (1992 - 1994).
    * Inspired by the Black Consciousness Movement, became involved in student politics operating in the area of East London (1976 - 1977).
    * Became involved in the activities of the Mass Democratic Movement including those of the United Democratic Front (UDF) and NEUSA, and became an active member of South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) from its inception.
    * Having served in the BEC at Kwa-Magxaki in Port Elizabeth, was elected for the REC of both the African National Congress (ANC) and African National Congress Women's League (ANCWL) respectively and the ANC RWC (1992 - 1994).
    * Headed the Department of Arts of the ANC in the old Eastern Cape region. Was involved in both transformation of the arts and the development of the ANC policy under Wally Serote who was national co-ordinator.
    * Elected to Parliament in 1994.
    * Served in the first parliamentary Portfolio Committee of Arts and Culture (1994 - 1997).
    * Also served in the Portfolio Committees on Finance, Trade and Industry and Water Affairs and Forestry which she also chaired.
    * Chairperson of the Select Committee on Child Care Facilities (1995).
    * ANC Whip (1994 - 1999).
    * Deputy Minister of Arts, Culture Science and Technology of the Republic of South Africa (26 February 2003 - 28 April 2004).
    * Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry of the Republic of South Africa (29 April 2004 - 22 May 2006).
    * Minister of Minerals and Energy of the Republic of South Africa from 22 May 2006 - 10 May 2009.

Source: Ministry of Minerals and Energy

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