Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Republic of South Africa
Dr Siyabonga Cyprian Cwele (MP) was appointed Minister for Telecommunications and Postal Services on 25 May 2014. He is the former Minister for Intelligence Services. He is the former Chairperson of the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence (JSCI), having served since 1999 and appointed as its chairperson in 2002. His main functions included convening and chairing the multi-party parliamentary committee responsible for oversight of the civilian intelligence community, defence and crime intelligence.
After the 2014 national elections, he was appointed Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services and was tasked with ensuring that the country realises great developmental value in the Post Office given its role of delivering financial services to remote areas. He also needs to ensure that the country derives more value out of the booming information communications and technology industry and postal services sector.
During his tenure as a Member of Parliament, he was the Chairperson of the Social Services Committee (Health, Social Development and Home Affairs) of the National Council of Provinces; and served as a member of the National Assembly Health Portfolio Committee; the Communication Committee and the Budget Committee.
A medical practitioner, Dr Cwele completed an MBchB at the University of Natal and a postgraduate diploma in child health at the College of Medicine in South Africa. From 1984 to 1989 he worked as a medical officer at the Edendale and Port Shepstone public hospitals before going into private practice in 1989. In 1994 he was deployed to Parliament.
As student, he participated in anti-apartheid activities; was a national council member of the progressive medical association, National Medical and Dental Association (NAMDA); and continues to serve as a member of the provincial political leadership of the African National Congress.