President Cyril Ramaphosa’s attempts to clean the rot that spread under his predecessor’s regime and discouraged investment in a sector that once dominated the economy took another step forward after mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe closed the department’s Mpumalanga office, which has been plagued by allegations of corruption. This follows Mantashe’s earlier decisions to reopen the Mining Charter for further negotiations with industry and withdraw the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill in order to create a separate legal framework for the petroleum sector, as requested by the industry. Mantashe’s actions are seen as crucial to restore investor confidence in the sector, which still employs about 435,000 workers. Its decline accelerated in recent years and it was hurt by incompetence and regulatory uncertainty during the administration of his predecessor, Mosebenzi Zwane, a close associate of former president Jacob Zuma and the Gupta family, who are ac...

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