Mantashe blames speech writers for mentioning bogus SA metal resource at conference

SA mines minister, Gwede Mantashe

SOUTH African mines minister, Gwede Mantashe, said “an unforeseen error in a good speech” had led to him promoting a battery metal resource in the country that did not exist and was, instead, the focus of an April Fools joke.

BusinessLive today cited Mantashe’s keynote speech at the Paydirt Africa Downunder conference being held in Perth, Western Australia, in which he alerted investors to the existence of hazenile in the Congo Caves in the Western Cape province.

“This was an April Fool’s joke. We hope you had a laugh along with us,” said Smart Energy International, the online publication that published the April Fools joke from which Mantashe’s speech writers sourced the bogus information. Mantashe blamed “young economists” who are learning in the process” for the error.

“It is equally unfortunate that the editorial team could not notice and fix it on time before delivery,” Mantashe told BusinessLive. “However, our message was well received by the investment community,” he said.

The Department of Mineral Resources & Energy said Mantashe had met 20 investors who “reiterated their commitment to investing in South Africa”.

“It’s unfortunate that the focus is being shifted to what has now been confirmed as fake news on one mineral by a site which normally carries reliable information on the sector,” the department said.


  1. Typical of the current DMR. Blame everyone, except themselves.
    If they had a proper employment policy and standards they could have appointed capable people.
    Minister Mantashe should know that to qualify for appointment you should have a relevant qualification. Thus the excuse of young economists learning are a bunch of nonsense at best.
    I made an earlier comment in another article about electricity and the fact that DMR HQ has been without power for more than a week and Management is doing nothing about it.
    It is wishful thinking that investors are interested in SA. They are not.
    DMR, through the actions of its officials, are chasing investors away with their unwilling to assist attitude and policies that changes at will.

    • He should have blamed racism, colonialism, capitalism and white monopoly capital…of yes, and land thieves…

    • Good points that you raise Pete. We should also add the utter disrespect and contempt the DMR officials have for investors, based principally on the race of the specific investor or their representative… It is a point that we have failed to mention but which is the main reason for holding back economic development in South Africa and therefore keeping the black majority (except for the ANC/EFF elite, obviously) and that is the desire for revenge… This desire is overwhelming and is destroying the country. We are not far off the tipping point where it will become unrecoverable, at least for many decades to come… And the ones who suffer the most will be the poor, poorly educated masses who actually vote for these fools. I think the ANC are deliberately destroying the education system in order to stay in power…

      • Dear Anonymous. I have to disagree with you. I am working on a daily basis with the DMR Officials and not once have I ever been treated with disrespect or contempt as a result of my race.
        The DMR has a mandate of promoting BEE and it sometimes feel that that policy trumps all other requirements.
        It is however important for DMR to realise that speed is of essence. We compete with the rest of the world on exploration allocations, etc.
        Surely any investor will want to spend his or her money where he or she feel secure and where decisions are being made in a fairly and in time.

  2. David, I must compliment you on your choice of pic of Gwede – as they say, worth more than a 1000 words😄😄

Comments are closed.