Susan Shabangu

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Susan Shabangu

South Africa's Mining Minister Susan Shibango, 2012. Photo- AusAID (10695929445).jpg
Susan Shabangu
Minister of Social Development
Assumed office
26 February 2018[1]
PresidentCyril Ramaphosa
DeputyHendrietta Bogopane-Zulu
Preceded byBathabile Dlamini
Minister of Women in the Presidency
In office
3 June 2014 – 28 February 2018
PresidentJacob Zuma
Cyril Ramaphosa
Succeeded byBathabile Dlamini
Minister of Mineral Resources
In office
11 May 2009 – 25 May 2014
Preceded byBuyelwa Sonjica
Succeeded byNgoako Ramatlhodi
Personal details
Born (1956-02-28) 28 February 1956 (age 62)
Political partyAfrican National Congress

Susan Shabangu (28 February 1956) is a South African politician who has been a member of parliament representing the African National Congress since May 1994.[2] She currently holds the position of Minister of Social Development.[3] She previously served as the inaugural Minister of Women in the Presidency, created by President Jacob Zuma in May 2014.[4][5] She was the Minister of Mining from 2009 to 2014.[6]


Susan Shabangu completed high school at Madibane High School, Soweto in 1977.[1]


Before being elected to government, Susan Shabangu was active in the labour movement.[4] From 1980 to 1985, she was Assistant Secretary for the Federation of South African Women (FEDSAW).[1] She was also a member of the Federation of Transvaal Women (FEDTRAW). In 1981 she was part of the Anti-Republic Campaign Committee. In 1982, she worked with the Release Mandela Campaign Committee. During 1984-85 she organized the Amalgamated Black Workers Project. She served on the Industrial Council and was the National Women's Coordinator of the Transport and General Workers Union (T&GWU). She served on the National Women's Sub-committee of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).[7]

Susan Shabangu is a member of the African National Congress (ANC) and the ANC Steering Committee. She was elected a member of parliament with the ANC in May 1994. As an Advisor to the September Commission in 1995, she was tasked with surveying the future of unions. In 1996, she became Deputy Minister of Mineral and Energy Affairs of South Africa. In 2004, she became Safety and Security Deputy Minister. From 2004 onwards she has held a number of senior government appointments. She was Minister of Mining from 2009-2014. She was the inaugural Minister of Women in the Presidency as of 2014.[7] In 2018, she and Bathabile Dlamini exchanged positions, with Bathabile Dlamini becoming Minister of Women in the Presidency and Shabangu becoming Minister of Social Development.[8]


In 2015 she signed an open letter which the ONE Campaign had been collecting signatures for; the letter was addressed to Angela Merkel and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, urging them to focus on women as they serve as the head of the G7 in Germany and the AU in South Africa respectively, which will start to set the priorities in development funding before a main UN summit in September 2015 that will establish new development goals for the generation.[9]


In March 2003 Shabangu was charged with public indecency after an altercation with an airport security official in which she lifted her dress after repeatedly setting off a metal detector.[10]

In April 2008 Shabangu, in her role as deputy minister of safety and security, told an audience of police officers in Pretoria "You must kill the bastards if they threaten you or the community", referring to criminals. The remark was met with widespread controversy.[11][12][13]

In August 2012, following an incident at Lonmin Platinum Mine near Rustenburg where 44 people were killed after police opened fire on striking workers belonging to the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), Shabangu visited the area. Tasked with investigating what had happened, she reported to Parliament on 21 August 2012 that she had engaged all "affected parties". When questioned at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry on 26 August 2014 she admitted that these did not include the AMCU or representatives of the striking workers.[14]


  1. ^ a b c Calland, Richard (Aug 16, 2013). The Zuma years : South Africa's changing face of power. Penguin Random House South Africa. ISBN 978-1770220881. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Susan Shabangu, Ms". South African Government. 11 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Ms Susan Shabangu". People's Assembly. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Newsmaker – Susan Shabangu: Woman on the edge of time". News24. 2014-08-10. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  5. ^ Masweneng, Kgaugelo (30 August 2017). "Susan Shabangu says violence against women not a crisis". Times Live. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Statement by President Jacob Zuma on the appointment of the new Cabinet" (PDF). South African Government Information. May 10, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-10.
  7. ^ a b "Susan Shabangu". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  8. ^ "Susan Shabangu's mammoth task: Revitalise Social Development". Eyewitness News. 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  9. ^ McVeigh, Tracy. "Poverty is sexist: leading women sign up for global equality | Life and style". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-05-08.
  10. ^ Michaels, Jeremy (3 May 2003). "High, mighty - and very angry". Independent Online. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Shoot to kill, minister tells SA police". Independent Online. 10 April 2008. Retrieved 2009-05-10.
  12. ^ "Zuma supports 'shoot to kill'". News24. 2008-04-12. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  13. ^ "Shabangu's shoot-to-kill comments condemned". Mail & Guardian. 18 April 2008. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  14. ^ Nicolson, Greg (26 August 2014). "Marikana Commission: Minister Shabangu can't act". Daily Maverick. Retrieved 11 January 2019.