September 14, 2019 / 8:18 AM / 2 months ago

South Africa's deputy mines minister dies in car accident

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - 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 playingan 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.

Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by Mark Potter

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