Former Deputy Minister of Finance, Mcebisi Jonas obtained his Bachelor of Arts in History & Sociology degree at Vista University. He furthered his studies with a Higher Diploma in Education at Rhodes University. He became active in politics from the age of 14 and led various political activities and underground structures in the Eastern Cape and beyond. He was inspired by the politics of the black Consciousness movement in the early 80’s and was the organiser of Azaso (Azanian Students Organisation). He played a key role in the establishment of the United Democratic Front (UDF) structures in the Eastern Cape, escaping the hit squads many times. He was later sent to exile to complete military training in Angola and Uganda for the People’s Army, Umkhonto We Sizwe (MK). While in exile he was employed by the United Nations to run an education program for Umkhonto We Sizwe (MK) cadres.
He has been a member of the Eastern Cape ANC Provincial Executive Committee for two terms in 1997 until 2004 and in 2007 until 2009. Jonas has also read for: Marketing at the University of Cape Town; Investment and Trade Promotion at the Ireland Development Agency; Investment and Trade Promotion at the Singapore Development Agency as well as Managing Investment and Trade Programs at the Malaysian Development Agency.
Jonas established both the Coega and East London Industrial Development Zones. He was a member of the Executive Council (EXCO) responsible for Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism from 2009 until 2014. This involved providing political oversight to various economic public entities. He was also member of the executive council responsible for Finance from 2009 until 2010; Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee for Human Settlement for the Eastern Cape Legislature from 2007 until 2009 and from 2000 until 2005 and Chief Executive Officer of the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (tasked with the amalgamation of the then Transkei Development Corporation, Ciskei Development Corporation, Ciskei Peoples Bank and other smaller development institutions).