Mining industry welcomes appointment of new minister

Mosebenzi Zwane has been appointed as the new Minister of Mineral Resources.

Mosebenzi Zwane. Picture: Dumelang Media.

JOHANNESBURG - The Chamber of Mines has now joined several industry role players in welcoming the appointment of a new Mineral Resources Minister and says it hopes to meet with Mosebenzi Zwane as soon as possible to discuss his view of the industry.

Zwane replaces Ngoako Ramatlhodi, who will now fill the post of Public Service and Administration Minister.

It was left vacant after the death of Collins Chabane, who died in a car accident near Polokwane earlier this year.

The chamber's Charmaine Russel said, "We look forward to a very constructive relationship with Minister Zwane and we have in fact sought a meeting with him."

REACTION

The appointment has been met with surprise in the mining industry.

Amcu's Joseph Mathunjwa said the president should've left Ramatlhodi in the position until 2016 and wonders whether the change was political.

Ramatlhodi is confident Zwane will work well with mining role players.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance's James Lorimer says Zwane's appointment is unlikely to solve the many problems wracking the mining industry

"The word that I am using to describe this is inexplicable."

Lorimer says the reshuffle has come just weeks before the operation Phakisa, the mining industry and labour initiative aimed at putting the beleaguered sector back on track.

"Just before the start of this conference, the government substituted its major player. That sounds bizarre."

Lorimer adds South Africa needs a mining minster with experience and says that Zwane, deployed to the National Assembly from the Free State just two weeks ago, doesn't appear to have it.