Minister of Trade and Industry, South Africa


H.E. Minister Ebrahim Patel was appointed Minister of Trade and Industry of the Republic of South Africa on 29 May 2019. Prior to this, he was South Africa’s Minister of Economic Development, from May 2009. His responsibilities since 2010 included overall strategic direction to the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). Under his leadership, the IDC expanded its approvals for new investment to R110 billion over the period, helping to create or save hundreds of thousands of jobs in South Africa, expand operations in the rest of Africa, support the development of renewable energy and focus on new industrial development. He has served for more than a decade on the Governing Body of the United Nations agency, the International Labor Organization (ILO), and led global negotiations on matters as diverse as policy and standard setting on human resources development, cooperatives, the employment relationship, globalization and social justice and the Global Employment Agenda. Minister Patel had a long history of involvement in anti-apartheid activism, playing an active role in student, youth, community and worker protests. Minister Patel served as a nominee of President Nelson Mandela on South Africa’s first Financial and Fiscal Commission. He also served on the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac), the Council of Higher Education (CHE) and the Council of the University of Cape Town for a number of years. He studied at the University of the Western Cape and the University of Cape Town.