Trevor Andrew Manuel (born 31 January 1956) is a South African politician, currently serving in the Cabinet of South Africa as Minister in the Presidency in charge of the National Planning Commission. Previously he was the Minister of Finance from 1996 to 2009, during the presidencies of Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe; he was one of the country's longest-serving finance ministers. In May 2009, he was re-assigned to head up a National Planning Commission by President Jacob Zuma shortly after the latter's inauguration.
Trevor Manuel was born in Kensington (Cape Town), during the apartheid era and classified as a Cape Coloured. His father was a civil servant, and he grew up and was educated in the city. He matriculated in 1973 and studied Civil and Structural Engineering, and later, during his detention, law.
Manuel entered public life in 1981 as the General Secretary of the Cape Areas Housing Action Committee, after which he became a National Executive member of the United Democratic Front (UDF). In September 1985 Manuel was detained and then banned until 31 August 1990. However, Manuel's ban was lifted on 25 March 1986 after it was ruled that it was not in line with the provisions of the Internal Security Act. On 15 August 1986 Manuel was again detained under the emergency regulations for almost two years until July 1988. He was released from detention under severe restrictions but promptly detained again in September 1988, this time until February 1989. His release came with stringent restriction orders.