Start main page content

Biography: Naledi Pandor

- By Wits University

A life of exile from 1961 until 1984 led Minister Pandor to receive most of her education abroad. 

Her higher education qualifications include a BA degree from the University of Botswana and Swaziland and a Masters in Education from the University of London. 

She completed a second Masters degree in Linguistics at the University of Stellenbosch in 1997, while serving as a Member of Parliament. 

Minister Pandor became a Member of Parliament in 1994, after the first democratic elections, and has amassed impressive experience in positions of public office. 

She served as the deputy chief whip of the ANC in the National Assembly from 1995 to 1998, as the deputy chairperson of the National Council of Provinces in 1998, and as its Chairperson from 1999 to 2004. 

Her experience in education policy planning made her a welcome appointment as South Africa’s Minister of Education from 2004 to 2009. 

In May of that year, she was appointed as Minister of Science and Technology. Since becoming Minister, she has been leading South Africa’s bid to host the Square Kilometre Array (the SKA), the largest radio telescope in the world, amongst a host of other innovative projects. 

Her efforts paid off and South Africa recently won the bid to host the biggest part of the SKA.

To listen to Pandor's speech, click .