Nikiwe Julia Mangqo

North West MEC for social development

Nikiwe, the North West minister for social development, grew her political conscience in the late Eighties as a student leader. She was barred from her school for arranging strikes against practises students deemed undemocratic and struggled to find a school that allowed her to write matric. Her tertiary studies were cut short by her political involvement at that time. Circumstances surrounding the need to have African National Congress branches launched in the North West province after the collapse of Bophuthatswana in 1994 saw Nikiwe deployed full time in the ANC office at Zeerust. From there she steadily grew in stature both in the ANC and the ANC Youth League.

Her first experience in the provincial minister’s office came in 2000, when she served as a private secretary to the North West minister for local government and housing. In 2001, she was elected to the position of national treasurer general for the ANC Youth League. In May 2004, Nikiwe was sworn in as the North West provincial legislature member of the executive council for the department of sport, arts and culture. After a cabinet reshuffle in August 2005, she took up her current position in the department of social development.

Lunch Spot: Butcher Shop and Grill, Sandton