President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed shock and sadness at the death of Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources, Bavelile Hlongwa.

The 38-year-old Hlongwa died Friday night in a car crash, which claimed the lives of four other people on the N1 from Polokwane.

Presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko says Hlongwa will be honoured with a provincial official funeral and flags will fly at half-mast in the country until Hlongwa is laid to rest.

“She asked her protectors to stop on the side of the road to assist a motorists who was injured and unfortunately a truck then lost control taking the deputy ministers life as well as four other motorists who were on the road at the same time.”

“The President sends his sincere condolences to the family of the deputy minister as well as those other four compatriots who were trying to assist when they saw a need.

“This is a devastating loss to the South African government and to the South African people,” adds Diko.

Hlongwa was born in Umzinto on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast.

She served in the KwaZulu-Natal task team of the ANC Youth League. During her time with the youth league, she was also elected to serve on the national executive in 2015.

She was appointed as deputy minister of mineral resources and energy in May this year.

Ms Hlongwa 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.

Ms Hlongwa has been exposed to leadership positions since 1999 and has served on the Local Community Development Committee. In 2011, Ms Hlongwa was elected into the South African Institute of Chemical Engineers (KZN Branch) and in 2013 she served as a treasurer for the structure.

In May 2017, Ms Bavelile Gloria Hlongwa was appointed as the Executive Deputy Chairperson of the Board of the National Youth Development Agency.