Ramaphosa appoints Minister of Electricity

After much speculation, President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed Dr Kgosientso Ramokgopa as Minister in the Presidency for Electricity.

Ramokgopa was head of investment and infrastructure in the Presidency, the former Tshwane mayor, and previously served in the Gauteng executive committee.

Ramaphosa announced his plan to appoint a Minister of Electricity within the Presidency during his State of the Nation Address on 9 February 2023.

Ramaphosa said the new electricity minister would focus full-time on ending load-shedding and ensuring his Energy Action Plan is implemented without delay.

“The appointed minister will have political responsibility, authority, and control over all critical aspects of the Energy Action Plan,” the president stated.

“This will help to deal with the challenge of fragmentation of responsibility across various departments and ministers, which, while appropriate under normal circumstances, is not conducive to addressing the crisis that we are in.”

Ramaphosa said Ramokgopa would be expected to coordinate the numerous departments and entities involved in the crisis response.

He will also work with Eskom’s leadership to turn around the performance of existing power stations, and accelerate the procurement of new generation capacity.

To achieve this, Ramaphosa said he would transfer certain powers and functions in relevant legislation to the new minister.

In addition to appointing a new electricity minister, Ramaphosa’s administration declared a national disaster for the energy crisis.

Ramaphosa said the regulations published under the state of disaster allow the minster of electricity to issue directions such as:

  • Excluding critical facilities from load-shedding where technically feasible
  • Expediting regulatory processes for energy projects
  • Enabling Eskom to undertake critical maintenance more quickly and efficiently

“The minister will liaise with other relevant ministers to ensure coherence in the issuing of other directions during the national state of disaster,” Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa said the new minister would remain in office for as long as it took to end load-shedding.

“This is a transitory ministry that is going to be focussed, hands-on, on helping us to resolve the energy crisis,” Ramaphosa said.

Now read: South Africans taking out loans to beat load-shedding

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Ramaphosa appoints Minister of Electricity