Thembisile Phumelele Simelane-Nkadimeng was born In Bethal in the Mpumalanga province on the 10th Feb 1973.
She began her political journey in student politics as a member of COSAS serving in various leadership positions including Regional Co-ordinator of the then Eastern Transvaal. At University of the North, she was a member and leader of the South African Student Congress (SASCO). Thembi served in various leadership roles at branch level of the organisation from being elected the Provincial Secretary of SASCO, whose main task was to organise and mobilise students in all universities and about 22 colleges of education in the then Northern Transvaal.
Because of her confidence, trustworthiness and hard work, political wit, she was elected as the Deputy President of the Student Representative Council (SRC), a position she used influentially to serve in the highest decision-making body of the university. The main function of the University Council was to influence the policies governing the student populace better serve them, which was continuously successfully achieved in her term.
She also served sterlingly, at the Broad Transformation Committee (BTC) of the University, ensuring that it moves in line with transformation in the country, particularly the improvement of conditions of the working class.
In pursuit of the goals and objectives of the creation of a united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic society, I have at any given moment, when called to lead, adhered to the adopted tactics to advance these objectives. I had the privilege and honour of leading the organisation in the following positions amongst others:
- Provincial Secretary, South African Student Congress – 1994 to 1996.
- Member of the Student Representative Council(SRC), Turfloop – 1995-1996.
- Member of Broad Transformation Committee (BTC), Turfloop – 1994-1997.
- BEC member, Deputy Secretary: Flora Park Branch – 1999-2002.
- BEC member, Deputy Chairperson: ANCWL Pieterburg Branch – 2000-2002.
- BEC member, Deputy Secretary: Martha Motsuenyane Branch – 2003-2005.
- Member of the Communication PEC Committee – 2008-2013.
- Deputy Coordinator: Peter Mokaba Regional Task Team – May 2013 to October 2016.
- Branch Chairperson: Martha Motsoenyane Branch – November 2016 to November 2018.
Education and Work Experience
- Bachelor of Arts – University of the North, 1994.
- Higher Education Diploma – University of the North,1995.
- Bachelor of Arts (Honours) – University of the North, 1997.
- BPhil (Policy Studies) – University of Stellenbosch, 2001.
- Management Advanced Program – Wits Business School, 2009.
Management Positions Held
2023 – present: Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
2021 – 2023: Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
2019 – 2021: SALGA National President
2014 – 2021 : Executive Mayor: Polokwane Municipality, Limpopo Province
2009 – 2013: Corporate Affairs Manager: Anglo American Platinum
2006 – 2009: Chief Director: Corporate Services, Dept. of Agriculture
2002 – 2006: Director: Corporate Communication & Marketing, Office of the Premier
1999 – 2002: Deputy Director: Communications Services, Department of Public Works
1997 – 1999: Assistant Director: Dept. of Safety, Security & Liaiso