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Former Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

The former Deputy President, Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, formally launched AsgiSA in February of 2006, and the Joint Initiative on Priority Skills Acquisition (Jipsa) was established a month later to address scarce and critical skills needed to meet AsgiSA's objectives.

AsgiSA has its origins from the commitment to half unemployment and poverty by 2014. Accomplishing this depends on achieving a 6-percent growth per year by 2010.

AsgiSA identified six 'binding constraints' preventing the achievement of the desired growth rate:

  • The relative volatility of the currency
  • The cost, efficiency and capacity of the national logistics system
  • Shortages of suitably skilled labour, and the spatial distortions of apartheid affecting low-skilled labour costs
  • Barriers to entry, limits to competition and limited new investment opportunities
  • The regulatory environment and the burden on small and medium enterprises (SMEs)
  • Deficiencies in state organisation, capacity and leadership.

AsgiSA is not a government programme BUT a national initiative supported by key groups in the economy:

  1. Business,
  2. Labour,
  3. State-owned enterprises,
  4. Government economic agencies,
  5. Entrepreneurs,
  6. And all spheres of government.


Date of Birth: 3 November 1955
Married, four children

Academic Qualifications

Masters in Philosophy degree in Educational Planning and Policy (UCT) (2003).
Gender policy and planning course- Development Planning Unit - University College London (1988)
Bachelor of Arts degree and Education from National University of Lesotho (NUL) (1980)

Career/Position/Memberships/Other Activities

  • Member of ANC national executive committee from 1998 to 2007.
  • Minister of Mineral and Energy of the Republic of South Africa (17 June 1999 - 21 June 2005)
  • Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology (03 February 2004 - 30 April 2004)
  • Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry (1996 - 1999)
  • Member of Parliament from  1994
  • Phumelela Services - Management Consulting Company, founder & MD (1993 - 1994) Cape Town
  • Director World University Services, (1990 - 1992) Cape Town
  • Director TEAM, A Development NGO, (1987 - 1989) Cape Town
  • Coordinator -Young Women Christian Association (YWCA), World Office in Geneva (1984-1989)
  • Teacher from 1980 to 1983         
  • Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa 22 June 2005 – 23 September 2008.
  • Chancellor, Tshwane University of Technology, since 02 November 2007


Honorary Doctorate, the University of the Western Cape (2007), Honorary Doctor in Education,
Honorary Doctorate, Wits Technikon (2003) Technology management and policy