New South African Mineral Re-sources Minister Gwede Mantashe has received a resounding welcome from the Chamber of Mines of South Africa, Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) and mining luminaries.
In its welcoming release, the chamber described Mr Mantashe, 62, as a man of integrity and dignity.
"He is a person with whom our industry has long held a constructive and respectful relationship," it said of the current national chairperson of the African National Con-gress (ANC) and a former chairperson of the South African Communist Party.
BLSA remarked on Mr Mantashe's inti-mate knowledge of the mining sector and his astute negotiation skills - "two attributes that are critical to resolving the current im-passe around the formulation of the Mining Charter", said BLSA CEO Bonang Mohale.
In also saluting Mr Mantashe's appoint-ment, co-chairman and partner Peter Leon from Herbert Smith Freehills urged Mr Man-tashe to make policy certainty his key and urgent priority.
The Chamber of Mines declared the mi-ning industry ready and willing to play its part in building the sector and the economy while recommitting itself to further trans-formational progress.
"We recognise that much work lies ahead and we are looking forward to working with the newly appointed leadership and all in-dustry stakeholders to ensure that our in-dustry and the people that depend on it have a better future," the chamber added.
The chamber stated that as union leader, Mr Mantashe had proved to be an extre-
mely tough negotiator, which had been de-monstrated both during his time as general secretary of the NUM and in his subsequent political positions as secretary general of the ruling ANC.
"We look forward to the many engage-ments with him that doubtless lie ahead," said the chamber in putting behind it the tor-rid time it had suffered under the unilateral style of errant former Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane.
Meanwhile, the National Union of Mine-workers (NUM) also welcomed the appoint-ment of Gwede Mantashe as the new Mini-ster of Mineral Resources.
"Comrade Gwede Mantashe comes from the mining industry and was the General Secretary of the NUM. He knows the mining industry very well and we are hopeful that he will make some changes. We expect him to do his job as the Minister of Mineral Re-sources and not to be biased. He must com-ply and do everything within the laws of this country,” said William Mabapa, NUM De-puty General Secretary. He added that NUM hopes that the department will be re-suscitated by the new minister and serve all the stakeholders in the mining industry, in-cluding rival unions.
Mining Weekly, NUM communication
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