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Maite Nkoana-Mashabane Biography
Maite Nkoana-Mashabane is a prominent South African politician who has served in various government positions over the years. She is currently serving as the Minister of Women, Youth, and Persons with Disabilities. In this blog post, we will delve into Maite Nkoana-Mashabane’s biography, education, career, and achievements.
Early Life and Education
Maite Nkoana-Mashabane was born on 30 September 1963 in the village of Ga-Makanye, Limpopo Province, South Africa. She grew up in a politically active family and was exposed to the anti-apartheid struggle at a young age. Her father, Phineas Nkoana, was a member of the African National Congress (ANC) and was imprisoned on Robben Island for his political activities.
Nkoana-Mashabane attended the University of the North (now known as the University of Limpopo), where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education. She later obtained a Master of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Salford in the United Kingdom.
Maite Nkoana-Mashabane’s political career began in the 1980s when she became involved in the anti-apartheid movement. She joined the ANC in 1984 and was involved in various activities, including underground work and mobilizing for the United Democratic Front (UDF).
After the unbanning of political parties in 1990, Nkoana-Mashabane became an ANC member of parliament. She served on various parliamentary committees, including the Portfolio Committee on Health and the Joint Standing Committee on Defence. In 2004, she was appointed as the Minister of Minerals and Energy, a position she held until 2009.
In 2009, Nkoana-Mashabane was appointed as the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation. She held this position until 2018, making her the longest-serving minister in that portfolio in South Africa’s history. During her tenure, she played a significant role in advancing South Africa’s foreign policy objectives, including promoting peace and stability in the African continent.
In 2018, Nkoana-Mashabane was appointed as the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform. She served in this position until 2019, when she was appointed as the Minister of Women, Youth, and Persons with Disabilities.
Achievements and Contributions
Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has made significant contributions to the advancement of South Africa’s foreign policy objectives and the promotion of women’s rights and gender equality. During her tenure as the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, she played a key role in South Africa’s election as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. She also led South Africa’s efforts in promoting peace and stability in the African continent, including serving as a mediator in the Lesotho crisis.
As the Minister of Women, Youth, and Persons with Disabilities, Nkoana-Mashabane has prioritized the promotion of women’s rights and gender equality. She has led initiatives to address gender-based violence and femicide in South Africa, including the launch of the National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide in 2020. She has also been instrumental in advancing the rights of persons with disabilities, including the development of the Disability Rights Awareness Month campaign.
Nkoana-Mashabane’s commitment to advancing the rights of women and persons with disabilities has earned her numerous accolades, including the “Top Women in Government and State-Owned Entities” award in 2020.
Maite Nkoana-Mashabane is married and has three children. She is a Christian and is actively involved
in her local church. In addition to her political work, she is also involved in various community development initiatives, including promoting education and entrepreneurship opportunities for women and youth.
Nkoana-Mashabane is also a lover of sports, particularly soccer. She has served as the chairperson of the Limpopo Province Women’s Soccer Association and has been involved in promoting women’s soccer in South Africa.
Criticisms and Controversies
Like most politicians, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has faced criticisms and controversies during her career. In 2018, she was criticized for her handling of the water crisis in Cape Town, which was described as inadequate by some quarters. She was accused of downplaying the severity of the crisis and failing to take adequate measures to address it.
Nkoana-Mashabane has also been criticized for her handling of South Africa’s foreign policy, particularly her stance on human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. She has been accused of being too soft on Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s regime and failing to speak out against human rights violations.
Maite Nkoana-Mashabane is a prominent South African politician who has served in various government positions over the years. Her political career has been marked by her commitment to advancing South Africa’s foreign policy objectives and promoting women’s rights and gender equality. While she has faced criticisms and controversies, she has also made significant contributions to the development of South Africa. Her work serves as an inspiration to women and youth across South Africa and the continent at large.
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