Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe worked his way up from a position as a recreation officer at a mine to general secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), giving him a past with challenges and problems and the skills to deal with industry. Outsiders point to the urgent need for Mantashe, secretary-general of the ANC for a decade until December, to clean out the ministry of people appointed by his predecessor, the heavily tainted Mosebenzi Zwane, and to restore working relations with the Chamber of Mines and the industry. Under Zwane, relations with the industry were so dismal the chamber’s leadership refused to speak to him and boycotted events where he was a guest speaker, saying that he was corrupt and that he negotiated in bad faith. Mantashe is described by people close to him during his tenure at the NUM as having "mining in his blood" and wanting the industry to succeed while creating a constructive and safe environment. It remains to be seen what damage th...

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