Minister of Social Development

Personal Details


Ms Lindiwe Zulu is the Minister of Social Development in South Africa.


She is a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) and the chairperson for the African National Congress’s Subcommittee on International Relations.


Ms Zulu was educated in Swaziland whereupon she joined the ANC after the 1976 student uprising. In exile, Ms Zulu lived in Morogoro in Tanzania where she was offered a scholarship to study journalism in Russia. She obtained a Master’s degree in journalism.


After her studies in Moscow, she joined the liberation army Umkhonto we Sizwe.

Once her military training was complete, Ms Zulu joined the PAN African Women’s Organisation (PAWO) in Angola where she was appointed as the co-ordinator of the communications committee.


She has held several communication positions. In 1989, she was appointed the Head of Communication in the ANC’s department of Religious Affairs. Ms Zulu also served at the Head of Communication in the ANC’s Uganda office.


In 1991 she returned to South Africa and became the Head of Communication in the ANC Women’s League. Ms Zulu was elected to the ANC’s team of spokespersons for South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994.


After the elections, she was elected a member of the Gauteng Legislature and was appointed Deputy Speaker of the Gauteng Legislature in 1995.  Four years later, Ms Zulu was appointed the Special Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 2001, she was appointed Chief Director for Western and Central Africa


In 2003, she left government to join the private sector where she served as the Executive Head of Government and International Relations at Vodacom group, a mobile phone services company based in South Africa.


In 2004 she became the South African Ambassador to Brazil. She was elected to the ANC National Executive Committee first in 2007 and again in 2009, Ms Zulu was elected to Parliament as a Member of Parliament representing the African National Congress. After 2009, Ms Zulu was appointed Special Advisor to the President of South Africa on International Relations.


In 2014, Ms Zulu was appointed as the Minister of Small Business Development.


In 2019, she was appointed as the Minister of Social Development. Ms Zulu is particularly interested in issues relating to the promotion and protection of the rights of vulnerable groups (women, children, youth, and people with disabilities amongst others.)