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Robert Haydn Davies (born 12 May 1948) is minister of trade and industry of South Africa.[1]

Dr Rob Davies

Rob Davies, 2013 WTO Ministerial Conference (cropped).jpg
Rob Davies in December 2013
Minister of Trade and Industry
Assumed office
11 May 2009
PresidentJacob Zuma
Cyril Ramaphosa
Preceded byMandisa Mpahlwa
Personal details
Robert Haydn Davies

(1948-05-12) 12 May 1948 (age 71)
Political partySouth African Communist Party
Other political
African National Congress
Alma materRhodes University (BA)
University of Southampton (MA)
University of Sussex (PhD)



Davies obtained his BA Honours in economics from Rhodes University and then went on to complete an MA in international relations at the University of Southampton, and a Ph.D in political studies from the University of Sussex.[2][3]

Political careerEdit

Due to his anti-apartheid activities Davies left South Africa and lived in Britain and Mozambique between 1979 and 1990. During this period he was attached to the Centre for African Studies at the Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique. During his time in exile Davies held lectures in Mozambique together with Ruth First.[4] On his return from exile he conducted economic research for the African National Congress and the Southern African Development Community.[5] In 1990 he became co-director of the Centre for Southern African Studies at the University of the Western Cape.[2][3]

Cabinet MinisterEdit

He was deputy Minister of Trade and Industry from June 2005 until May 2009 and Chairman of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Finance.[5] Davies has been a member of Parliament since 1994 and is a member of the central committee and politburo of the South African Communist Party (SACP).[2][3]

He was appointed Minister of Trade and Industry by President Jacob Zuma in May 2009 and re-appointed to the position on 25 May 2014. During his first term from 2009-2014, he oversaw the development and implementation of annual three year rolling Industrial Policy Action Plans as well as steering South Africa's participation in important trade relations, including the Tripartite SADC-COMESA-EAC Free Trade Area, BRICS, Economic Partnership Agreement with EU, the US Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, and World trade Organisation Bali package.


Rob Davies was accused by Vytjie Mentor of referring to members of the Gupta family while on a state visit to China, possibly contributing to "state capture"[6].


  1. ^ "New Cabinet - full appointments". News24. Archived from the original on 12 May 2009. Retrieved 10 May 2009.
  2. ^ a b c "Mr Rob Davies". Sabinet Law. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  3. ^ a b c "About the minister". Department of Trade and Industry. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  4. ^ Feinstein, Andrew 2009 After the Party p.58
  5. ^ a b South African government. "Profile information: Rob Davis". Government Communication and Information System. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  6. ^