GOVERNANCE / Lindiwe Sisulu
Lindiwe Sisulu_SA

Lindiwe Sisulu

Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Government of South Africa


Lindiwe Sisulu was appointed as Minister of Human Settlements, Water, and Sanitation on 30 May 2019. She was Minister of International Relations and Cooperation from 27 February 2018 to 25 May 2019, as well as Minister of Human Settlements of the Republic of South Africa from 26 May 2014 until 26 February 2018.

Ms. Sisulu has been a Member of Parliament since 1994, and chairperson of the Inaugural of the African Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development since 2005. She is a member of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress (ANC) and a member of the National Working Committee of the ANC. Ms. Sisulu was a trustee of the South African Democracy Education Trust as well as of the Albertina and Walter Sisulu Trust; and a member of the Board of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Between 1975 and 1976, Ms. Sisulu was detained for political activities. She subsequently joined Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) and worked for underground structures of the ANC while in exile from 1977 to 1978. In 1979, Ms. Sisulu received military training specializing in military intelligence.

In 1981, Ms. Sisulu taught at Manzini Central High School in Swaziland; in 1982, she lectured at the Department of History of the University of Swaziland. From 1985 to 1987, Ms. Sisulu taught at Manzini Teachers Training College and was a chief examiner of History for Junior Certificate Examinations for Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland. In 1983, she worked as a sub-editor for The Times of Swaziland in Mbabane.

Ms. Sisulu returned to South Africa in 1990 and worked as a personal assistant to Jacob Zuma as head of the ANC’s Department of Intelligence. She also served as Chief Administrator for the ANC at the Convention for a Democratic South Africa in 1991, and as administrator of Intelligence at the ANC Department of Intelligence and Security in 1992.

In 1992, Ms. Sisulu became a consultant for the National Children’s Rights Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). In 1993, she worked as director of the Govan Mbeki Research Fellowship at the University of Fort Hare, and from 2000 to 2002, she served as head of the Command Centre for Emergency Reconstruction.

Ms. Sisulu was a member of the Management Committee, Policing Organisation and Management course of the University of the Witwatersrand in 1993; a member of management of the Sub-Council on Intelligence, Transitional Executive Council in 1994; and chairperson of the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence from 1995 to 1996.

Prior to her appointment as Minister of Public Service and Administration, Ms. Sisulu served as Deputy Minister of Home from 1996 to 2001. She was Minister of Intelligence from January 2001 to April 2004, Minister of Housing from April 2004 to May 2009, and Minister of Defence and Military Veterans from May 2009 to June 2012.

Ms. Sisulu was Minister of Public Service and Administration of the Republic of South Africa from June 2012 to 25 May 2014.

Ms. Sisulu was awarded the Human Rights Centre Fellowship in Geneva in 1992. Her project for the United Nations Centre resulted in the University of the Witwatersrand School of Business setting up a training course to upgrade the policing skills of MK members. Ms. Sisulu received a Presidential Award for the Breaking New Ground in Housing Delivery Strategy by the Institute for Housing of South Africa in 2004; in 2005, she received an award from the International Association for Housing Science in recognition of outstanding contributions and achievement toward improving and solving the world’s housing problems.


  • 1989: M Phil, Centre for Southern African Studies of the University of York (England)
  • Master of Arts in History, Centre for Southern African Studies of the University of York (England)
  • BA and BA Honours in History, and a Diploma in Education, University of Swaziland
Source: Ministry of Defence and Military Veterans