Home National Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa in the hot seat to end power cuts

Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa in the hot seat to end power cuts

by Thys Khiba
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By Thys Khiba – President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed his infrastructure and investment adviser, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa as electricity Minister to end Eskom rolling blackouts.

This comes after Ramaphosa announced on Monday that the new Minister is expected to reduce the severity and frequency of load shedding as a matter of urgency.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced changes to the National Executive during an address to the nation on Monday evening.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced changes to the National Executive during an address to the nation on Monday evening.

“In the course of attending to current challenges, we are establishing two new ministries.

The first of these is the Minister of Electricity to deal with immediate crisis of load shedding,” said Ramaphosa.

Ramokgopa is expected to co-ordinate the government response to the collapse of the power utility monopoly’s coal power plants that has driven the outages to up to 12 hours a day.

In addition to his job description and responsibilities, Ramokgopa will take over energy planning and execution as part his political responsibility.

To effectively oversee the electricity crisis response, the appointed minister will have political responsibility, authority and control over aspects of the Energy Action Plan,Ramaphosa said.

During his state of the nation address (SONA), Ramaphosaannounced that a national state of disaster had been declared to deal with the electricity crisis and its social and economic impact.

Ramokgopa will oversee and issue directions in relation to the national state of disaster.

“The recently published disaster regulations empower the Minister of Electricity to issue directions to, among others, exclude critical facilities from load shedding where technically feasible; expedite various regulatory processes for energy projects; and enable Eskom to undertake critical maintenance more quickly and efficiently,” said Ramaphosa.

ANC Deputy President Paul Mashatile has been appointed as the South African Deputy President, after the resignation of David Mabuza.

“As I indicated in my reply to the State of the Nation Debate on the 16th of February, Deputy President David Mabuza asked to step down from that position.

Ramaphosa thanked Mabuza for his five years support and dedicated service as his deputy president.

“I have decided to appoint Mr Paul Mashatile as Deputy President of Republic.”

This could be the last reshuffle by Ramaphosa before national elections in 2024 in which the ANC could face defeat over the power and unemployment crisis.

With the recent report of elections, the governing party has managed to gain support at about 40 per cent, far below the majorities that it has reliably won since it first gained power in 1994.

Ramaphosa appointed Khumbudzo Ntshavheni as Minister in the Presidency, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities and Maropene Ramokgopa as Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.

Mondli Gungubele is now a Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies and Thembi Nkadimeng as Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

Meanwhile, former KwaZulu Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has been appointed as Public Works and Infrastructure Minister.

Zizi Kodwa will now be political head of Sports, Arts and Culture, Patricia de Lille as the head of Tourism and NoxoloKiviet as Public Service and Administration Minister.

Sindisiwe Chikunga will replace the ANC Secretary General Fikile Mbalula as Transport Minister.

 

CENTRAL NEWS

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