Deputy Minister of International Relations and Co-operation of the Republic of South Africa
|Profile: Mr Marius Llewellyn Fransman
Marius Llewellyn Fransman was born in the working class suburb of Blackheath on the Cape Flats, Cape Town, South Africa. He had to taste the bitter fruits of struggle from a young age. The blatant poverty in the area that he grew up in manifested itself in a host of social ills, difficulties and struggles that confronted the community. This made an indelible impact on him.
From an early age the culture of hard work was ingrained in him. This coupled with his innate sense of justice and a heightened consciousness of the milieu in which he was born led to his involvement in political activism at a very young age. This first came strongly to the fore during his high school years and the era of student activism and school boycotts. He completed matric with an exemption in 1987 at Bishop Lavis Secondary School, where he was the headboy. In the capacity as chairperson of the school SRC he played a pivotal role in mobilization, creating awareness and broader student activism.
He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of the Western Cape in 1991 and thereafter (1991) obtained a Higher Diploma in Education at the same university.
His employment career started off in Vredendal on the West Coast as a teacher. Much of his formative experience as a student activist informed his new role of educator. After this initial venture into the realm of pedagogy, he worked as a Regional Organizer for the ANC (African National Congress). He later took up position at SPP (Surplus People’s Project) as Farm Dweller Project Manager. This exposed him to the plight of farm-dwellers and people in rural areas on a broader scale. In this capacity he organized, mobilized and played an advocacy role for the rights of farm-dwellers including issues of tenure rights, fair and just labour conditions and their well-being and welfare.
Marius Fransman served as Provincial Deputy Secretary of the ANC Western Cape from 1997 to 2004 for three consecutive terms. Concurrent to this he was mandated by the late ANC Provincial Chair Dullah Omar to head the fishing desk from 1997-2004. This task was primarily related to liaison with fishing communities and lobbying and advocacy for the rights and long-term sustainability of this fragile sector. He played a key role in the initial transformation initiatives in this area and worked closely with fishing communities in the Western Cape. This was a period of intense transformation and the implementation of new policy.
His experience with rural communities and both mobilization and organizing departments made him the ideal candidate for the role of rural elections co-ordinator from 1995-1999.
In 1999 he became provincial elections co-ordinator under the leadership of the provincial secretary. His primary role was that of strategy formulation and implementation, fulfillment of elections objectives and operations.
He served on the Vredendal Municipal Council firstly in the role of Deputy-Mayor and then as Mayor from 1995-1998.
In 1999 he became a Member of the Provincial Legislature for the ANC and went on to serve three respective portfolios. In 2001 he became the MEC (Provincial Minister) of Social Services and Poverty Alleviation in the Western Cape. After the 2004 National Elections he was deployed to a new portfolio as MEC (Provincial Minister) for Local Government and Housing Western Cape.
In July 2005 he was deployed to take up position of MEC (Provincial Minister) for Transport and Public Works Western Cape and he served this position until August 2008 when he became Western Cape MEC (Provincial Minister) of Health.
In May 2009 he was appointed to the National Parliament of The Republic of South Africa and served this august position as Parliamentary Chairperson for Higher Education and Training that provides oversight for all Institutions of Higher Learning as well as Further Education and Training/ Skills Development through the 23 Sector Education and Training authorities that administer a skills and training budget of R21 billion. This portfolio placed him at the heart of the ANC Government's priority focus areas of Education and Health.
His strong record of delivery and innovation in the portfolios that he has served, coupled with a deep-rooted understanding of communities and the priorities for continuing the transformation of society in a post-apartheid South Africa is unique and rooted in the ANC National Development Agenda and the ideology of the National Democratic Revolution.
Indeed, his understanding of South Africa's place in the global space and its unique challenges and dynamics is well served by his ability to build global networks and harnessing this for the greater good of humanity.
On 2 November 2010 he was appointed to the post of Deputy Minister of International Relations & Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa by President Jacob Zuma.