Gwede Mantashe Photo: African News Agency/ANA
HARARE - The appointment of Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe has been welcomed across the board, with many expecting his experience as a former union leader to help give depth to his new role.

Cadiz Corporate Solutions director for mining, Peter Major, yesterday said that Mantashe’s first priority should be to throw away the controversial mining charter.

Major said the charter is designed to destroy the industry, jobs and the economy. “Scrapping the charter will slow down the demise of the industry,” he said, adding that Mantashe should also consider freezing the payment of taxes and royalties. “Mining companies should receive a 10-year royalty free holiday, a 5-year tax free holiday, and workers should use the secret ballot before going on strike.”

Mantashe was appointed on Monday and replaces Mosebenzi Zwane, the former Free State Agriculture MEC, who was embroiled in controversy after helping the Gupta family acquire Optimum Coal from mining giant Glencore.

The Chamber of Mines welcomed the appointment, describing Mantashe as a man of integrity and dignity, and saying he brought with him a sound and fundamental knowledge of the industry.