Ex Finance Minister Trevor Manuel says SA needs a younger president

South Africa has produced a huge number of great men and women who have been highly esteemed and highly regarded for the different roles they’ve played in different walks of life over the years. One of the greatest men alive today is Trevor Andrew Manue,l who is currently serving as a Minister in the Presidency in South Africa. There are many things about Manuel that lots of South Africans do not know and we want to shed some light on some of them.

Trevor Manuel – Bio, Wife and Family

Born 31 January 1956 in Kensington Cape Town, Trevor Andrew Manuel has remained as one of the most respected politicians in the country. Because he was born of parents with mixed race, the man was regarded as a Cape Coloured.

It was in Cape Town that he was brought up by his garment factory working mother (Philma van Söhnen) and his draughtsman father, Abraham James Manuel.

Growing up in a South Africa that was defined by apartheid, he later found himself in the fight for the freedom of the country alongside many others including Nelson Mandela. As a result of this, Trevor Manuel got arrested and was jailed at Victor Verster prison in Paarl.


He married an indigenous woman in his homeland in the year 2008 and they have three children and a happy home.


For his educational qualifications, the man attended the Harold Cressy High School for his secondary education, before proceeding to the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. He also has Peninsula Technikon. He has been awarded Honorary Doctorate degrees from Rhodes University, University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of the Western Cape, and the University of South Africa.

See Also: Lindiwe Mazibuko and 10 Lesser Known Facts About her

Thanks to his qualification and his competence, the man has overseen many offices acting as a board member of African Development Bank, Development Bank of Southern Africa, and World Bank. He has been a Member of Parliament under the ANC since 1999 while holding other offices.

Here are Some Facts you should know about Trevor Manuel 

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1) Political Inclinations

He began politics in his early days with the view to join the fight against apartheid in South Africa. He served as a Minister in the Presidency of his country with a special portfolio in the National Planning Commission. Trevor has been serving in this political capacity since 2009. He has served many great African leaders including Nelson Mandela, Kgalema Motlanthe, and Thabo Mbeki as the nation’s Finance minister. This positions him as the longest-serving finance minister in South Africa from 1996 to 2009. Trevor was commissioned by the Former President, Jacob Zuma to head the National Planning Commission and help develop the country after spending some time managing the nation’s finance portfolio.

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2) His Background is Simple

Trevor Manuel enjoyed a simple or ordinary childhood albeit the turbulent apartheid era. His mother worked in the garment factory while his father was a draughtsman. He has a bit of Portuguese blood with his Portuguese great-grandfather immigrant. Trevor graduated with a Civil and Structural Engineering degree but read law while in detention.

3) Detention Phase

Trevor became a public figure as the General Secretary of Cape Areas Housing Action committee; he was also a National Executive member in the United Democratic Front party where he was detained and banned between 1985 and 1990.

See Also: Cyril Ramaphosa and 10 Lesser Known Facts About Him

4) Political Career Climb

With the recognition of the African National Congress, Trevor was appointed its publicity secretary at the party’s first regional conference held in 1990,qqqq before being promoted to the National Executive Committee and then the ANC Member of Parliament.

He was appointed as Minister of Trade and Finance by President Nelson Mandela in 1994 before moving up to secure the Minister of Finance post.

Rebuilding Education for the 21st Century: Manuel

5) Global Recognition

Trevor Manuel was recognized as the 1994 Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum with numerous international awards for his achievements. He is regarded as one of South Africa’s most competent ministers with an acclaimed recognition on his contributions to the nation. Trevor was also appointed the chairperson of the International Monetary Fund Governance Reform council in 2008.

6) National Development Role

Trevor was responsible for the nation’s first budget surplus announced in 2007 with an obvious prosperity in the country. A wider tax base allows the country to enjoy more developments in housing, education and sanitation projects to improve the standard of living for South Africans.

7) Standing Up to Principles

Trevor Manuel resigned from his Finance Minister post with the resignation of President Thabo Mbeki as a principled gesture but was reappointed to serve under Kgalema Motlanthe. He also published an open letter in response to Jimmy Manyi’s accusation of racism with regards to labor law changes that impacted racial quota on the nation’s workforce.

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8) Engaging Today’s Youth for Tomorrow’s South Africa

Despite his busy political schedule and goals, Trevor Manuel is anxious to engage the nation’s youth on the National Development Plan to help build a stronger and more developed nation as he noted the increasing demographic figures of youth in the country. It is part of the nation’s agenda to establish sound leadership through the building of South African youths and young people who must be represented properly. Hence, a proper political handover to the next generation is crucial and essential.

Bonus: Helen Zille and 10 Lesser Known Facts

 9) Developing South Africa

The last but not the least thing to note about Trevor Manuel is his consistent passion for his homeland to be developed through the proper structures and policies set in place for all tiers of life. His plethora of speeches dwells on the National Planning Commission plans and tasks that he heads personally to ensure success for South Africa.

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