Deputy Minister of Communications & Digital Technologies

Deputy Minister of Communications Pinky Kekana NGI 8669PROFILE OF MOHLOPI PHILLEMON (PHILLY) MAPULANE

Mohlopi Phillemon “Philly” Mapulane was appointed by the President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa, on the 05th of August 2021 as the Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies


Philly Mapulane is the first-born son of James Thorome Mapulane (late) and Irene Ramadimetja Mapulane. He was born on the 10th of April 1972 at Matlala Hospital in the village called Tsimanyane near the town of Marble Hall within the municipal jurisdiction of Ephraim Mogale Municipality in the Limpopo Province. Philly’s parents relocated to an impoverished rural village in Moutse West called Spitspunt in the same Ephraim Mogale Local Municipal jurisdiction where he was raised. Growing up under conditions of abject poverty contributed to shaping his political consciousness and his resolve to join the National Liberation Struggle and to contribute towards community’s struggles to rid itself of conditions which gave rise to their impoverishment.


Comrade Philly is married to Tsholofelo Mapulane and is blessed with two children, Tshegofatso and Karabo.


Philly obtained his Matric in 1991 at Refilwe Senior Secondary School in Moutse. Driven by a passion to equip himself academically, he enrolled in 1994 with Technikon Northern Transvaal, now Tshwane University of Technology, where he obtained a National Diploma in Public Management and Administration in 1996.
He added to his academic achievements when he obtained a B-Tech Degree in Public Administration from Technikon South Africa, now incorporated into University of South Africa, in 2002.
He enrolled for a Masters Degree in Public Administration (MPA) in 2004 from the University of Pretoria. He completed all the eleven (11) modules of the degree programme, and he is left with a mini dissertation. He hopes that the University will allow him to register and finish the mini dissertation.
He studied and has obtained a Certificate Programme in Management Development (CPMD)NQF 6 from the University of the Witwatersrand


Philly was recruited into the National Liberation Struggle by the late Ephraim Mogale, the founding President of the Congress of South African Students (COSAS). He is part of the generation whose formative experience and political consciousness as young activists was deepened in the 80’s during the state of emergency of 1986. This was at the height of the struggle of the people of Moutse, a struggle in which Cde Philly actively participated as a young activist, against incorporation into and the establishment of KwaNdebele Bantustan.  It was during this period when he joined COSAS. He served in various capacities in the student movement between 1986 and 1991 when he completed his Matric.
In 1994 he joined the South African Students Congress (SASCO) when he was admitted to study at the then Technikon Northern Transvaal, which is now called Tshwane University of Technology (TUT). He was elected to the position of Political Commissar in 1995. The following year in 1996 he was elected as the branch secretary of SASCO, a position he held until he completed his studies at the University.
In 1997 he was elected to the position of Regional Secretary of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) in the then Eastern Region of the North West Province which is now called Bojanala. He held this position between 1997 and 2001.
In 2003 he was elected as the Provincial Deputy Chairperson of the ANCYL in North West. He held this position until 2007.
In May 2005 he was elected as a member of the Provincial Executive Committee of the ANC in North West during a highly contested provincial conference held at Rustenburg’s Ben Marais Hall. He was subsequently elected by the PEC as a member of the Provincial Working Committee in its first sitting. He served in this role for three years until the term of office expired in 2008. In 2008 he was co-opted into and served as a member of the PEC after the Sun City conference until the PEC was dissolved by the NEC in 2009.
In February 2011 he was elected as the Provincial Treasurer of the ANC in the North West Province, a position he held for 2 years.

During the 53rd ANC National Conference held in Mangaung in December 2012, Cde Philly was elected as a member of the National Executive Committee. He served in this highest decision-making structure of the ANC in between conferences for 5 years until the NASREC Conference of December 2017.
He was appointed by the ANC NEC in August 2018 to serve as a member of the North West ANC Provincial Task Team and later the Interim Provincial Committee following the dissolution of the PEC by the NEC. He is still serving in this structure


Comrade Philly is a seasoned local government practitioner who spend a period of 14 years in local government management and administration. Ten (10) of those years he occupied senior management positions.
He joined local government in February 1998 when he was employed by Madibeng Local Municipality and was assigned the responsibility to co-ordinate a project which sought to subsidise Indigent households on their municipal accounts. He went on to develop a policy on indigent support which defined an indigent household and set the minimum threshold for qualification. He subsequently got promoted to various positions in the municipality like Masakhane Co-ordinator, LED Co-ordinator etc.

In August 2001 he was promoted to the position of a Head of a newly established Department of Local Economic Development and Tourism. He served in this position for two years. In February 2003 he was appointed as the Manager: Support Services (Chief Operating Officer) in the Office of the Municipal Manager. He served in this position for four (4) years until he was appointed as the Municipal Manager in January 2007. The employment contract with Madibeng Local Municipality came to an end on the 31 January 2012.

One of the highlights of his career in local government was his participation in a three (3) months International Leadership Exchange Programme between the Institute of Local Government Management of South Africa (iLGM) (a professional institute of Municipal Managers) and the Society for Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE), which is a professional institute of Chief Executives of local authorities in the United Kingdom. As part of this programme, Philly spend 3 months in the UK daily shadowing various Chief Executives of local authorities in the UK. Most of this time was spend in England. As a result of this role, he acquired extensive international exposure on the management practices by leading administrators in charge of big cities, like the City of London.


In June 2012 he was sworn in as the Deputy Speaker of the North West Provincial Legislature. He occupied this position until the general elections in May 2014 when he was elected as a member of the National Assembly in the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa.
He was deployed by the ANC in Parliament in May 2016 to become the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs in the Fifth Parliament.
After the election of the Sixth Parliament which took place on the 08 May 2019, Cde Philly was deployed as the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education, Science and Technology. He served in this position for two (2) years until he was appointed as the Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies by His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa on the 5th August 2021.

One of the highlights of his tenure as the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs was when he led the Portfolio Committee in convening a two-day Colloquium on Captive Lion Breeding for Hunting in South Africa. The Colloquium attracted a high turnout from the local and international conservation industry. This Colloquium facilitated a national and indeed international dialogue on the conservation value of breeding lions in captivity for purposes of hunting and lion bone trading. Following the report of the Colloquium, which was unanimously adopted by the National Assembly plenary, the Minister of Environmental Affairs appointed a High-Level Panel to review this practice and its report recommended that the captive breeding of lions for hunting in SA must be done away with. The recommendations were subsequently adopted by Cabinet in December 2020.