About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Manuel, Trevor Andrew

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Trevor Manuel was born in Kensington, Cape Town, on 31 January 1956. He became aware of the South African political situation as a young boy in 1960 when his black neighbours were forcibly removed. He matriculated from Harold Cressy High School in 1973. In 1981 he resigned his job as a civil engineering technician to become a voluntary community organiser for the Cape Areas Housing Action Committee (Cahac). In March 1982 he became a field worker for the Education Resources Information Centre (ERIC), an agency supplying literature to community organisations.

His first formal political involvement was his involvement in the Labour Party Youth in 1969. Manuel's views were influenced by students at the University of the Western Cape, as well as by his friend Toufie Bardien, a former member of the Coloured People's Congress.

From 1975-80, Manuel was involved in political protests and involved in resistance projects. In 1983 he attended the Anti-South African Indian Council Committee conference in Johannesburg, where the concept of a United Democratic Front (UDF) was put forward. Manuel's involvement in the founding of the UDF in the Western Cape led to his appointment as the region's national secretary, and in August 1983 he was elected to the UDF national executive.

Manuel was detained on numerous occasions between 1985 and 1989, culminating in him going on hunger strike after his last arrest which was for defying the order restricting him from attending any meetings until August 1990.

Following the unbanning of the ANC in 1990, Manuel was appointed its deputy co-ordinator in the Western Cape. He was elected publicity secretary of the ANC in the Western Cape at its first regional conference, and in July 1991 was elected to the national executive of the ANC. In 1992 he became head of the ANCs' Department of Economic Planning. Manuel represented the ANC on the National Peace Committee.

In April 1994 Manuel became a member of parliament, and was appointed Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism. He became Minister of Finance in 1996, a post he still holds and for which he has gained international respect.

Source: Shelagh Gastrow, 1995. Who's who in South African Politics, Number 5. Johannesburg: Ravan Press.

His current positions are: -

Ø     Minister of Finance of the Republic of South Africa since 4 April 1996.

Ø     Member of National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ANC since 1991.

He holds the following academic qualifications : -

Ø     Matriculated from Harold Cressy High School, Cape Town.

Ø     National Diploma in Civil and Structural Engineering as a sandwich course at the Peninsula Technikon.

Ø     Executive Programme Course, Stanford National University, Singapore.

Career/Positions/Memberships/Other Activities : -

Ø     Practised as a technician (until 1981).

Ø     General Secretary of the Cape Areas Housing Action Committee (1981).

Ø     Regional Secretary and National Executive Member of the United Democratic Front (UDF) (1983).

Ø     Repeatedly detained without trial or placed under house arrest, spending a total of 35 months in detention for these activities (1985 - February 1990).

Ø     Employed with the Mobil Foundation as a Policy Manager on Entrepreneurial and Community Development (May 1989).

Ø     Elected to full-time office in the ANC (August 1991).

Ø     Appointed as Head of the ANC's Department of Economic Planning (1991).

Ø     Responsible for the shaping of ANC's economic policy in this capacity (1991 - May 1994).

Ø     Appointed to the Advisory Committee of the United Nations (UN) Initiative for Trade Efficiency (August 1994).

Ø     Minister of Trade and Industry of the Republic of South Africa (1994 - 3 April 1996).

Ø     Governor on the Board of the World Bank, African Development Bank Group and Development Bank of Southern Africa.

Ø     Chairman of the South African Development Community Finance and Investment Sector

Ø     Chairman of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund at Annual meetings in Prague in September 2000.

Ø     Served as Special Envoy to the Secretary-General, UN for the Conference on Financing for Development, held in Monterrey, Mexico from 18-20 March 2002.

Ø     Chairperson of the Development Committee, International Monetary Fund (IMF) since April 2002.

Awards/Decorations/Presentations/Bursaries : -

Ø     Selected by the World Economic Forum as a Global Leader for Tomorrow (January 1994).

Ø     Awarded the Africa Prize by the German Africa Foundation, jointly with the then South African Minister of Finance, Derek Keys (September 1994).

Ø     Inducted as a member of South African Academy of Engineering (February 2001).

Ø     Honorary Doctorate of Commerce from University of Stellenbosch (December 2001).

Ø     Honorary Doctorate of Commerce from University of the Western Cape (13 March 2002).

Ø     Honorary Doctorate of Technology from Technikon South Africa (15 November 2002).

Ø     Honorary Doctorate of Technology from Peninsula Technikon (16 March 2002).

Ø     Honorary Doctorate of Economics from University of Natal (2 April 2003).

Source: Ministry of Finance

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.