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    ELECTRICITY -Minister’s powers to be gazetted soon

    May 23, 2023 - Business Day


      Minister’s powers to be gazetted soon

      President Cyril Ramaphosa has delegated minister of electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa his responsibilities, but these have not been made public yet.

      Presidential spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said a proclamation allocating Ramokgopa his powers had been signed and would soon be gazetted.

      "The president has not failed to allocate powers to the minister of electricity. The issue has been resolved, the proclamation has been signed. You will have the details of that proclamation once it has been gazetted," Magwenya said on Monday.

      "Let’s dispense with that notion that the president has failed to deliver in that regard.

      "Yes, it has taken time, as it should, because there were consultations that had to be held to ensure that in resolving this electricity crisis we do so in a manner harmonious with respect to the workings of government, [and] we take into consideration that the portfolio is not a permanent portfolio and therefore whatever powers you allocate to it you do not do so at the risk of causing short-term or long-term instability in government," Magwenya said.

      He could not give a time frame for the gazetting, but said it would be "as soon as possible" as the proclamation has been signed.

      Ramokgopa’s powers and responsibilities have been a matter of speculation after media reports of a turf war in the cabinet since his appointment.

      Quoting government and ANC insiders, a report in the Sunday Times in April said mineral resources & energy minister Gwede Mantashe and public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan were opposed to granting Ramokgopa the powers originally envisaged.

      Ramaphosa later denied there was a stand-off over control of Eskom. When he appointed Ramokgopa in March, Ramaphosa said the primary task of the new minister would be to reduce the severity and frequency of load-shedding.

      The president said the new minister will have political responsibility, authority and control over all critical aspects of the Energy Action Plan.

      "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 a crisis response," Ramaphosa said.

      The minister will be expected to facilitate co-ordination of the many departments and entities involved in the crisis response, work with Eskom’s leadership to turn around the performance of power stations and accelerate the procurement of new generation capacity.

      Minister of electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa. File photo.Freddy Mavunda


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