The Minerals Council South Africa on Thursday congratulated President Cyril Ramaphosa on appointing a leaner, more focused cabinet. File Photo

JOHANNESBURG -  The Minerals Council South Africa on Thursday congratulated President Cyril Ramaphosa on appointing a leaner, more focused cabinet, and said it appreciated his commitment to strong ethical leadership and to getting the economy back on track. 

Ramaphosa on Wednesday night announced a reduced cabinet with 28 ministers, down from 36, but with 34 deputy ministers in what he said was the "reconfiguration of national government".  

Gwede Mantashe was retained as minister of mineral resources with an added portfolio for energy, and a new deputy in Bavelile Hlongwa.

Minerals Council chief executive Roger Baxter welcomed Mantashe's reappointment to head the enhanced mining and energy portfolio.

"The mining industry appreciates the appointment of a well-balanced cabinet, reduced in size but with greater focus. The retention of core ministers in key economic functions is a positive signal to the country, and to investors – both at home and abroad," Baxter said.

"The appointment of Minister Mantashe to an enhanced portfolio of minerals and energy is a key signal of the seriousness with which the President is taking the restoration of investor and business confidence in mining and energy. We also appreciate the President’s focus on achieving a better gender and age balance."

Late last year, the mining industry welcomed Mantashe's move to withdraw the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill in a bid to allow the particular needs of the petroleum sector to be dealt with in a dedicated‚ directly targeted legislative framework.

The Minerals Council said it looked forward to working with Ramaphosa and his new cabinet to help the mining sector realise its full economic and transformational potential, and thus help achieve the vision of the government's National Development Plan.

- African News Agency (ANA)