Steven Zwane

  • Durham Business School, Commerce, Innovation / IT


Steven was born in Ermelo, Mpumalanga. Due to pressures at home, Steven herded cattle until the age of 11, at which point he started his school career. Even after starting school, times were hard, and Steven made ends meet by polishing shoes in town during weekends and school holidays, as well as dabbling in organising beauty pageants and selling sweets at school to raise money for his upkeep. These adversities would turn into the building blocks of one of his professional passions – skills development. In 2006 Steven was awarded the prestigious Nelson Mandela Scholarship to study for a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in the UK. Through this scholarship, Steven got to meet the global icon Nelson Mandela on two occasions – a life-changing experience that bolstered his spirit to succeed. In September 2017 Steven was appointed as CEO of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), having developed over 12 years worth of experience in management across the banking, consultancy and education sectors, including most recently as Chief Operating Officer for Barclays Africa Group. In this new role as CEO of NSFAS, Steven has overall responsibility for the organisation’s commitment to providing financial aid to students from poor backgrounds, in addition to managing Stakeholder Relations and Operational Development. Steven devotes his spare time to Youth Development – having established The Youth Leadership and Entrepreneurship Development NGO which has empowered up to 5 000 young people since 2004. Read Steven’s reflections on Youth Day 2016.

Greatest Achievement

Being awarded the prestigious Nelson Mandela Scholarship to study towards a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in the UK and meeting the global icon Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

Professional Interests

Business management and social entrepreneurship