Profile of Minister Ms Elizabeth Dipuo Peters, MP
Minister of Transport:
Ms Elizabeth Dipuo Peters
Elizabeth Dipuo Peters hails from Kimberley, in the Northern Cape, where she underwent schooling at Tidimalo Junior Secondary and Tshireleco Senior Secondary School.
She obtained a Bachelors’ Degree in Social Work from the then University of the North, a Certificate in Development and Public Policy from the University of the Western Cape, a Certificate in Executive Management from the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business and a Certificate in International Policy Management from Havana, Cuba.
Minister Peters brings a wealth of experience from the religious fraternity, the student, youth, women’s and trade union movement, right up to government.
As a humanitarian at heart, her pedigree extends to having served the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, a structure which worked for the repatriation of political exiles and re-integration of political prisoners after the unbanning of political organisations.
Her rich experience in the legislative arm of Government speaks volumes. Minister Peters served in the National Assembly between 1994 and 1997, serving in the Parliamentary Portfolio Committees of Home Affairs, Public Works, Social Services and Health.
In 1997, Minister Peters was redeployed to the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature, executing duties of Chief Whip till 1999.
Minister Peters served as the Northern Cape MEC for Health from 1999 to 2004, spearheading amongst others the revitalization of the Kimberley Hospital Complex and overseeing the extension of primary health care and maternal health services in the Northern Cape. Also attributed to her tenure are strides that saw the remarkable broadening of rural access to health care facilities, with clinics and hospitals having been built.
Minister Peters was appointed to serve as Premier of the Northern Cape, from April 2004 to May 2009, before moving to the higher echelons of Government as Minister of Energy.
The Minister is widely respected in the African continent and globally, as an esteemed leader in the energy sector, including being a member of the renowned UAE Zayed Future Energy Prize, and being appointed as a member of the United Nations Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Sustainable Energy for All.
While serving as the Minister of Energy, the Department of Energy has been bestowed with a number of international recognized accolades, including the Infrastructure Regulator of the Year Award and the Power Deal of the Year Award.
Minister Peters is also credited with leading the charge for the progressive introduction of renewable energy technologies into the South African Energy mix, and has seen successes such as the adoption of the country’s first ever Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity.
Under her stewardship, the country’s renewable energy programme was voted by the Global Infrastructure Leadership Forum in New York as the Green Energy Infrastructure Programme of the Year, globally.
Minister Peters has headed the charge in the transformation of the liquid fuels sector and has been actively championing women’s and previously disadvantaged groups’ participation in the sector.
She cut her teeth in active politics in the Young Christian Students. She also participated in youth formations in the church and community. In AZASO, she was Deputy Chairperson of the Women’s Forum at the then University of the North.
Her vibrancy and activism was further reignited in Kimberley, where she was a member of the Galeshewe Youth Congress. Minister Peters worked as a volunteer regional organizer for the South African Domestic Workers’ Union, recruiting, organising, educating and counseling domestic workers in the Northern Cape.
Between 1987 and 1990, Minister Peters served as Head of the Women’s Secretariat of the South African Youth Congress (SAYCO).
She was also a member of the Provisional National Youth Committee, a team that worked towards the re-establishment of the African National Congress Youth League. She was the Youth League’s Secretary for Women’s Affairs, upon its re-launch.
From 1997 to 2003, she served as the Provincial Treasurer of the ANC. The period between 2003 and 2004 marked her tenure as the first female Provincial Chairperson of the African National Congress in the Northern Cape, having previously served as Deputy Provincial Chairperson of the ANC from May to December 2003.
On July 9 2013, she was appointed as the first female Minister of Transport of the Republic of South Africa.