Following the 6th democratic elections, and with the expansion of the Ministry to include Energy, Mr Gwede Mantashe was appointed Minister of Mineral and Energy Resources in May 2019. Mr Mantashe was appointed Minister of Mineral Resources in February 2018.
Mr Samson Gwede Mantashe was born on 21 June 1955 at Lower Cala village in the then Transkei (now Eastern Cape Province). He started his political career as an activist in the Student Christian Movement.
Mr Mantashe holds a Master’s Degree from the University of the Witwatersrand, a Bachelor of Commerce (Bcom) Degree from the University of South Africa, where he also completed a Bcom Honours. He is currently studying towards a Master’s Degree in Business Administration through MANCOSA.
In 1975, he was employed as a Recreation Officer at the Western Deep Levels Mine and, in the same year, moved to Prieska Copper Mines where he served as the Welfare Officer until 1982.
Working at the Matla Colliery in 1982, Mr Mantashe co-founded and became the Witbank branch Chairperson of the National Union of Mine Workers (NUM). In 1985, he was elected NUM Regional Secretary. A skilled mineworker and leader, Mr Mantashe was the NUM’s National Organiser from 1988 to 1993; and became the Regional Coordinator between 1993 and 1994.
From 1994 to 1998, Mr Mantashe was the Assistant General Secretary of the NUM. He was elected General Secretary at the union’s congress in 1998.
For his first stint in government, Mr Mantashe was elected Councillor in the Ekurhuleni Municipality from 1995 to 1999. He became the first trade unionist to be appointed to the Board of Directors of a Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed company – Samancor.
In May 2006, he relinquished his position as the General Secretary of the NUM at the union’s 12th National Congress. In the same year, Mr Mantashe was appointed the Executive Director at the Development Bank of Southern Africa for two years. He also served as the Chairperson of the Technical Working Group of the Joint Initiative for Priority Skills Acquisition.
In 2007, Mr Mantashe was elected Chairperson of the South African Communist Party and also served as a member of the party’s Central Committee. In December 2007, he was elected Secretary-General of the African National Congress (ANC) at the party’s 52nd National Conference. He was re-elected to the same position in 2012. At the ANC’s 54th National Conference, in 2017, Mr Mantashe was elected as the National Chairperson.
Source: Ministry of Mineral and Energy Resources