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Mary Metcalfe is a former teacher, school principal, and college and university lecturer. She taught in the Department of Education at the University of the Witwatersrand, and was an Education Policy Analyst at the Centre for Education Policy Development (CEPD) before being appointed as Gauteng Member of the Executive Council (MEC) responsible for Education in the first democratic provincial government in Gauteng. In 1999, she was appointed MEC for Agriculture, Conservation, Environment and Land Affairs.

Ms Metcalfe’s professional and academic qualifications include a diploma in Specialised Education and a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of the Witwatersrand. She has researched and been published on a variety of education topics, including Special Education, education transformation and governance. She played an important role in the shaping of the ANC’s education policy and in the Curriculum Technical Sub-Committee of the National Education and Training Forum.

Ms Metcalfe has served on many committees, both in her capacity as an educationist and as a political activist. She was national president of the South African Association for Learning and Educational Disabilities, and also served on the Black Sash Education Committee, the Free the Children Campaign, and the Detainees’ Parents Support Committee (DPSC). She played an important role in the All Schools for all People Campaign, sat on the Executive Committee of the National Education Co-ordinating Committee (Southern Transvaal), and was a member of the Gauteng Provincial Executive Committee of the ANC from 1992 – 2000. She currently heads the Agriculture, Conservation, Environment and Land Affairs Policy Unit in the ANC in Gauteng.