PRETORIA, South Africa's Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Bavelile Hlongwa has died in a car accident, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Saturday.
Hlongwa, 38, who was appointed in May, died on Friday in an accident that also claimed the lives of four other people, the presidency said.
Ramaphosa said in a statement that Hlongwa's death is a devastating, untimely loss of a talented young leader who, alongside (Mines) Minister Gwede Mantashe, was playing an important and dynamic role in an important sector of our economy.
South Africa's mining industry directly contributes more than 7% to the economy which has been struggling with anaemic growth over the last decade.
Hlongwa, who held a degree in chemical engineering from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, was appointed deputy minister by President Cyril Ramaphosa in May 2019.
The President has sent condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of deputy mineral resources minister.
Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille has described Hlongwa's passing as a tragedy.
Indeed a very very sad week for South Africa. She was a very outspoken lady, she represented the young people in cabinet. She was a voice. [With] everything she looked through the needle of what is there for the young people.
De Lille fondly remembers the 38-year-old and the role played she played in politics.
We are indeed sad to have lost her. I do know that with my other colleagues, we all will miss her dearly because she was so bubbly and so well-spoken and a real fighter.
Source: Nam News Network