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Deputy Minister Hlongwa: Untimely loss of a talented young leader

Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Bavelile Hlongwa died in a car crash on Friday, the Presidency has announced.

The car accident, which took place on the N1 from Polokwane, claimed four other lives.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Deputy Minister Hlongwa, as well as the stakeholders in business, labour and the community with whom she engaged in the mining sector.

The President also expressed his condolences to the families of the four people who died with the Deputy Minister on scene while attempting to assist the passengers involved in another incident.

The death of Deputy Minister Hlongwa is a devastating, untimely loss of a talented young leader who, alongside Minister Gwede Mantashe, was playing an important and dynamic role in an important sector of our economy, said President Ramaphosa.

Hlongwa was appointed as Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy in May 2019.

Prior to her appointment she served as Executive Deputy Chairperson of the National Youth Development Agency.

She studied at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) Howard College where she obtained her Bachelors of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering. She started her career at Shell Downstream SA.

Deputy Minister Hlongwa will be honoured with an Official Funeral Category 2 in line with government's State, Official and Provincial Funeral Policy. The President has further directed that the national flag shall fly at half-mast at every flag station in the country until the Deputy Minister is laid to rest, said Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko.

NYDA Executive Chairperson Sifiso Mtsweni sent his condolences to the family, friends and comrades of her beloved organisation.

He described the late Hlongwa as a fearless martyr and champion for youth development across all sectors of society.

She took to heart all issues of injustice against women and children and fought relentlessly against economic exclusion of young people. A girl-child had a true representative in her, he said.

During her tenure as Executive Deputy Chairperson of the NYDA, Hlongwa lead outreach initiatives focused on access to higher education for learners in marginalised areas and maintained an activist posture of the board by assisting child-headed households.

Ms Hlongwa's commitment to the generational agenda and demand for young people to occupy all positions of authority and responsibility within the public and private sector remains our clarion call.

In death, she remains a hero and a voice for the voiceless young people in the rural parts of our country; an Internationalist who dared fly the South African flag highest amongst her peers; lala ngoxolo BV, Mntwana! said Mtsweni.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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