Gwede Mantashe takes over Mineral Resources

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

National Chairperson of the African National Congress, Gwede Mantashe, has been appointed as the new Mineral Resources Minister following a late night Cabinet reshuffle by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Mantashe, who holds a Master's Degree from the University of Witwatersrand, has experience working in the labour movement and has held key positions in the ANC.

Born in the village of Lower Cala in the Eastern Cape, Minister Mantashe was an activist from a young age, as he was involved in the Student Christian Movement (SCM). 

According to his profile on the ANC's website, he joined the migratory labour force to eke out a living in the mining industry. He began his mining experience at Western Deep Levels mine in 1975 as a Recreation Officer and in the same year, moved to Prieska Copper Mines, where he was Welfare Officer until 1982. 

In 1982, he moved to Matla Colliery where he co-founded and became the Witbank branch chairperson of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), a position he held until 1984.

He was then elected NUM Regional Secretary in 1985, where he grew through the ranks as he was appointed the NUM's National Organiser from 1988 to 1993 and its Regional Coordinator between 1993 and 1994.

From 1994 to 1998, he served as the Assistant General Secretary of the NUM, whereupon he was elected as the first General Secretary at the union's congress in 1998.

He relinquished his position as the General Secretary of the NUM in May 2006 at the union's 12th National Congress.

After leaving the NUM, he was appointed as the Executive Manager: Strategic Initiatives at the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), where he was the chairperson of the Technical Working Group of the Joint Initiative for Priority Skills Acquisition (JIPSA) for a period of two years.

In 2007, he was elected chair of the South African Communist Party (SACP) and also served as a member of the Party's Central Committee.

At the 52nd National Conference of the ANC in Polokwane, December 2007, he was elected as the Secretary General of the ANC.

In 2012, at the 53rd National Conference of the ANC in Mangaung, he was re-elected as the Secretary General of the ANC, a position he held until the 54th National Conference of the ANC in Nasrec, where he was elected National Chairperson of the ANC.


Nzimande to drive Transport Ministry


Meanwhile, South African Communist Party (SACP) general secretary Blade Nzimande has been appointed as the new Transport Minister.

He previously served as the Higher Education Minister in the administration of former President Jacob Zuma.

His academic qualifications include a PhD in Industrial and Labour Studies, a MA in Industrial Psychology, a BA (Hons) Industrial Psychology and a BA (Majors Psychology and Public Administration).

According to his profile, Minister Nzimande was a Member of Parliament and the first Chairperson of the Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Education in the democratic South Africa between 1994 and 1999.

Between 1989 and 1994, he held the position of Director: Education Policy Unit at the University of Natal.

He was also a member of the National Education Union of South Africa (NEUSA), the main forerunner to SADTU, the Union of Democratic Universities Staff Associations of South Africa (UDUSA) and the National Education Co-ordinating Committee (NECC), and served in many NGOs supporting the mass and labour struggles in the 1980s.

He has also worked for the Tongaat Hullet Group and the University of Zululand where he was a senior lecture. He also lectured at the University of Natal and worked for the ANC. –

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