Department of Mineral Resources
MOSEBENZI Zwane is regarded as the factotum of South African president, Jacob Zuma, following the 18 months administration of the sometimes unpredictable Ngoako Ramatlhodi, hooked from his post in September ostensibly to serve a strategic role as public service and administration minister. The cabinet reshuffle could not have come at a worse time for the country’s mining sector where government regulation and policy is as uncertain as ever. For starters, Zwane must somehow give fresh impetus to amendments to the MPRDA, a controversial piece of legislation at large somewhere in the parliamentary process. This will not be easy; nor will winning over the confidence of the mining sector which wants an urgent outcome to the mining charter audit, the once-empowered, always-empowered rule, and whether a new mining charter is to be formed or if the trumping clauses of the trade and industry’s department’s BBBEE legislation apply. Zwane will also be expected to give purpose to the weeks of meetings during Operation Phakisa. He could exceed the mining industry’s wildest expectations if he were to prefer the pragmatic approach of Ramatlhodi over the ideological mindset (and truculence) of another former mines minister, Susan Shabangu. His leadership mettle will be tested, should a strike or violence break out in platinum industry wage negotiations this year.
LIFE OF MOSEBENZI
He was recently appointed ANC-MP after serving as agriculture MEC in the Free State provincial government. He is said to be a close ally of Free State premier Ace Magashule, a staunch Zuma loyalist. He is also connected to the Gupta family through the Estina dairy business that went sour and by providing an alibi allowing a visit by the Gupta family to be transformed into a state visit thus enabling the infamous party landing at Waterkloof.
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