Ayanda Ntsaluba was born in the Eastern Cape on 31 May 1960 and completed his primary and secondary schooling there. He matriculated in 1976 at St John's College in Umtata and the following year registered, for a medical degree with the University of Natal (Durban).
Graduating with MBChB in 1982, Dr Ntsaluba did his internship at Umtata General Hospital and continued to work there as medical officer until September 1985 when a period of detention and solitary confinement interrupted his work.
On release from detention he felt compelled to leave the country and go into exile. It was six years before he came home to stay and reclaimed his plans to specialise in obstetrics and gynaecology.
Soon after leaving South Africa, in 1986 and 1987, Dr Ntsaluba had the opportunity to study international relations, political economy and philosophy at the Moscow Institute of Social Science. But most of his exile years were spent in Southern and East Africa -- in Zambia, Angola, Tanzania and Uganda -- working in numerous health facilities, primarily attending to the health needs of the scattered community of South African exiles.
1990 saw the unbanning of South African liberation movements, the freeing of Nelson Mandela and the propulsion of the nation into a four-year period of political transition. Dr Ntsaluba spent the first year of that transition in London, where he completed an MSc in Health Policy, Planning and Financing at the London School of Economics (University of London). His studies were funded through a Nelson Mandela Award, sponsored by the Students Union of the LSE.
Between 1991-1995 - Dr Ntsaluba undertook his specialist training in obstetrics and gynaecology and upon completion, he was admitted as a Fellow of the college of Obstetrics and gynaecology of South Africa.
In June 1995 Dr Ntsaluba was appointed as Deputy Director-General for Policy and Planning in the national Department of Health.
In June 1998, Dr Ntsaluba was appointed Acting Director-General of Health and three months later was confirmed as Director-General.
He served as DG Health from September 1998 to August 2003. During this period he served on a number of statutory bodies (such as the board of the Medical Research Council (SA) and the Health Professions Council of SA) as well as represented South Africa in Numerous International Fora.
He also chaired the Steering Committee of the South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative and served as a member of one of the Working Groups of the World Health Organisation Commission on Macro-Economics and Health.
In September 2003, Dr Ntsaluba was appointed Director-General of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Africa – a task he performs to date.