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Minister Rob Davies, Dr | Deputy Minister Bulelani Gratitude Magwanishe | Director−General Lionel October

Minister Rob Davies (MP)

  Minister Rob Davies
     Dr Rob Davies is serving his second term as Minister of Trade and Industry, having been appointed to this portfolio in May 2014.

During his first term from 2009-2014, he oversaw the development and implementation of annual three year rolling Industrial Policy Action Plans as well as steering South Africa's participation in important trade relations, including the Tripartite SADC-COMESA-EAC Free Trade Area, BRICS, Economic Partnership Agreement with EU, the US Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, and World trade Organisation Bali package. Between 2005 and 2008 he was Deputy Minister in the same Department. An ANC MP since 1994, Rob Davies served as Chairperson of the Portfolio Committees of Finance and Trade and Industry as well as the Constitutional Assembly Sub-Committee responsible for drafting Charter 13 (Finance).

Before entering Parliament, Rob Davies was Professor and co-Director of the Centre of Southern African Studies at the University of the Western Cape and before that Professor Auxiliar at the Centro de Estudos Africanos at Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo, Mozambique. An anti-apartheid activist for many years, Rob Davies joined both the ANC and the SACP while in exile in Mozambique. He is currently a member of the Central Committee of the SACP and of the National Executive Committee of the ANC. Academically he holds an Honours degree in Economics from Rhodes University, a Masters in International Relations from the University of Southampton in the UK and a Doctorate in Political Studies from the University of Sussex.

Contact Details
    Ms Inze Neethling
Appointment Secretary
+27 12 39 41568

Mr Moosa Ebrahim
Chief of Staff
+27 12 39 41578


Deputy Minister Bulelani Gratitude Magwanishe

    Bulelani Gratitude Magwanishe is the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry with effect from 31 March 2017 and has served as a member of Parliament since 1999.

Before his appointment at the dti, Deputy Minister Magwanishe served as the Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises, a position he held from June 2012 to 30 March 2017.

Deputy Minister Magwanishe holds a Master of Business Administration from the Regent Business School; a Bachelor of Science in Jurisprudence and a certificate in Strategic Leadership from the University of the Witwatersrand Business School.


Mr Magwanishe served as a chairperson of Joe Slovo (Tsakane) Youth and as branch executive committee member responsible for religious affairs in 1990. He was a member of the Governance Committee in the Ekurhuleni Region in 2005 and served as a member of various committees and ad-hoc committees from 1999 to 2004.

He has also served as whip in various committees; as cluster whip for Justice and Constitutional Development; Defence; Home Affairs; Foreign Affairs; Safety and Security; Correctional Services and Intelligence from 2004 to 2009 and as deputy chief whip of the ANC in the National Assembly from October 2008 until his re-deployment as a Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises in 2012.

Deputy Minister Bulelani Gratitude Magwanishe

Contact Details
    Ms Nangamso Ndikandika
Executive Assistant: Deputy Minister
+27 12 394 5667


    Mr Phillip Darkie Mbanyana
Director: Office of the Deputy Minister
+27 12 394 1572

Director-General Lionel October

    Mr Lionel October was appointed Director-General of the Department of Trade and Industry from 21 April 2011.

Lionel October was appointed the Acting Director-General (DG) of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) in South Africa on 01 January 2011. Prior to his appointment as Acting DG, he served as the Deputy Director-General (DDG) responsible for the enterprise and economic development portfolio, and served as an Economic and Trade diplomat at the South African Embassy in Brussels from 2007 to 2011. He was instrumental in key trade negotiations with the European Union.

Under his leadership as the DDG, the dti has spearheaded key industrial and enterprise development policies such as the National Industrial Policy Framework and Action Plan, and the development and implementation of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment legislation, to name a few.

Current Position
    Director-General of the Department of Trade and Industry of the Republic of South Africa.

Academic Qualifications
   • University of London, Masters degree in Economics
   • University of the Western Cape, Legal Degree

Career/Memberships/Positions/Other Activities

As an experienced Economist, he held various senior positions related to trade unions, including being appointed as the General Secretary of the South African Clothing and Textile Union.

   • He previously served on boards of a number of public policy bodies and government agencies, such as the IDC and the COEGA Development Corporation.
Contact Details
    Ellen Msiza
+27 (12) 394-3075