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Visiting Adjunct Professor, School of Governance, University of the Witwatersrand

Busani Ngcaweni Bio

Busani Ngcaweni is the Director-General of the National School of Government since March 2020. Before that he was the Head of Policy and Research in The Presidency. He was previously Chief of Staff (Deputy Director-General) to President and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa since 2014. He also served as Chief of Staff to Deputy Presidents Kgalema Motlanthe, Baleka Mbete and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. He joined the Policy Unit in The Presidency in 2005 as Senior Policy Analyst, having been Divisional Director at Umsobomvu Youth Fund. He has balanced policy development, programme implementation, institution building and scholarly research to shape his application of state craft. Ngcaweni is a graduate of the University of Durban-Westville, the University of Natal, University of South Africa and Wits University. He is DPhil Research Fellow in Economics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He is Senior Research Associate at the University of Johannesburg and Visiting Adjunct Professor at Wits School of Governance.

His latest publications include:

Ngcaweni, B. (2024). Statecraft and National Development: Critical Insights from South Africa and Beyond. Jacana Media. Johannesburg. Forthcoming in March 2024.

Ngcaweni, B. (eds.), (2024). Liberation Diaries Volume 2: Reflections on 30 Years of Democracy in South Africa. Jacana Media. Johannesburg. Forthcoming in May 2024.

Ngoma, A. and Ngcaweni, B. (2023). Binding Constraints to Decision Making on Growth: Perspectives from Heads of Departments. In Mohamed, S., Ngoma, A. and Baloyi B. (eds.). The Evolving Structure of the South Africa’s Economy: Faultlines and Futures. Mapungubwe Institute. Johannesburg.

Ngcaweni, B. (2023). Young People, Social Media and Exposure to STIs: A Semi-ethnographic Experiment. In Maja, B. and Ngcaweni, B. (eds.). Youth Development in South Africa: Harnessing the Demographic Dividend: Diverse Perspectives on Creating a Fairer Society. Emerald Publishing Limited. Bingley.

Ngcaweni, B. and Mayimele, B. (2022). BRICS: Building Blocks Towards a Pluriversal World. Journal of Latin American Studies. Vol. 44(5).

Ndlovu-Gatsheni, S.J. and Ngcaweni, B. (eds.), (2022). The Contested Idea of South Africa. Routledge. London.

Qobo, M. and Ngcaweni, B. (2021). Professionalising the South African Civil Service: in Retrospect and the Road Ahead. New Agenda: South African Journal of Social and Economic Policy. Issue 82.

Ngcaweni, B. and Nkate, J. (2021). An Appraisal of China-Africa Cooperation for Economic Development and Poverty Reduction. In Poverty Reduction in China: Achievements, Experience and International Cooperation, Wei, H. and Wang, L. (eds.). Social Sciences Academic Press. Beijing.

Ngcaweni, B. (2020). Leaping Forward: Preliminary Thoughts on COVID-19 and Shifts in Public Administration. Journal of Public Administration. Vol. 55(4).

Ngcaweni, B. and Ndlovu-Gatsheni, S.J. (eds.), (2018). Nelson R. Mandela: Decolonial Ethics of Liberation and Servant Leadership. Africa World Press. New Jersey.

Ngcaweni, W.M. and Ngcaweni, B. (eds.), (2018). We Are No Longer at Ease: The Struggle for #FeesMustFall. Jacana Media. Johannesburg.

Qobo, M., and Ngcaweni, B. (2021), Professionalising the South African Civil Service: in Retrospect and the Road Ahead, New Agenda: South African Journal of Social and Economic Policy, Issue 82


  • –present
    Senior Research Associate, University of Johannesburg