Communications Minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri showed a dedication to bring about change in South Africa in her work in civil society and in government, the Nelson Mandela Foundation said.
Spokesman Achmat Dangor said the Foundation remembered her role in the struggle for democracy in South Africa and her contribution towards transforming her country.
The foundation mourned her passing and extended condolences to her loved ones, Dangor said.
Matsepe-Casaburri died at a Pretoria hospital at the age of 71.
The Young Communist League called on President Kgalema Motlanthe to honour the deceased minister in "a befitting manner: by dissolving the current SABC Board".
Spokesman Castro Ngobese said the league joined the government, ANC, SA Communist Party and the Congress of SA Trade Unions in mourning her "untimely departure".
The league sent its condolences to her family, comrades and Cabinet colleagues.
Matsepe-Casaburri was the first woman and black chairperson of the board of the SABC from 1993 to 1997.