Hon. Minister Jane Mkhonta-Simelane Profile

Before joining politics, the Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Honourable Jane Mkhonta-Simelane, had a long, illustrious career spanning over 39 years across the Government and non-governmental sectors.

Honourable Mkhonta-Simelane’s career began in 1984 when she joined the Women In Development Project as Handicraft Officer. In 1992, she progressed to become Home Industry Officer under the same project, holding that role until the year 2000. That year, she began her civil service career, becoming a Gender Analyst in the Ministry of Home Affairs. In 2006, she was promoted to Senior Gender Analyst, a role she held until 2013.

In 2013, Hon. Mkhonta-Simelane moved to the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office where she assumed the role of Director of Gender and Family Issues. In 2020, she switched to the Ministry of Tinkhundla Administration and Development, serving as Lubombo Regional Secretary (RS) until 2023. Honourable Mkhonta-Simelane’s last job in the civil service was to be Under Secretary in the Ministry of Tinkhundla Administration and Development, a role she held for five months until she retired in 2023.

The Honourable Minister holds a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Multidisciplinary Human Rights from the University of Pretoria. She also holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences Honours in Gender Studies from the same university as well as a Bachelor of Education (Adult Education) from the University of Botswana.

During her illustrious career, Hon. Mkhonta-Simelane was involved in the formulation of the National Gender Policy adopted in 2010 and facilitated the ratification of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights as well as the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development. She has also been involved in various other ground breaking initiatives, including being the technical Chairperson of the SADC Region on Gender and Women’s Issues; facilitating the development of the Regional Plan of Action on the UN’s Resolution 60/2 on Girls, Women and HIV/AIDS as well as leading a gender analysis of the agriculture sector that led to reforms in women beneficiaries’ ownership, control and benefit of agricultural resources and products in communities.

In September 2023, Honourable Mkhonta-Simelane was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) by the people of Mbabane West Inkhundla. Then, on 13 November 2023, His Majesty King Mswati III appointed Hon. Simelane as Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs.

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