Government leaders

Senzeni S Zokwana, Mr

Current Positions

Mr Zokwana is the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of the Republic of South Africa with effect from 26 May 2014.

He is also chairperson of the South African Communist Party and a Member of Parliament.


Career/Positions/Memberships/Other Activities

Mr Zokwana previously served as the president of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).
He became involved in trade union activism in 1980 during the apartheid-era in South Africa at the President Steyn gold mine in the Free State. He joined the ranks of NUM in 1983, became a shaft steward in 1984 and was elected to the branch executive committee in the President Steyn Mine in 1985.
He subsequently moved up the ranks to become branch chairperson in 1987, vice regional chairperson in 1992 and regional chairperson from 1993 to 1994. He was first a shift overseer on safety matters and in 1995, he joined the NUM staff as a safety officer, after proving himself a dedicated advocate of modern mine safety techniques.
Mr Zokwane was elected as vice president in 1994; a position he held until 2000 when he was elected president. He was subsequently, re-elected for the role and held the position until 2014.

In 2005, he was elected as president of the International Chemical, Energy and Mine Workers' Federation at a special election and was re-elected in November 2011.
Mr Zokwana was also elected as Vice-President of industrial Global Union at its founding congress on 19 June 2012.