New Electricity Minister says withdrawal of the National State of Disaster on Electricity will have no impact

  • Minister in the Presidency for Electricity, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, says the withdrawal of the National State of Disaster on Electricity will have no impact on the ministry’s work going forward. 
  • Government formally withdrew the State of Disaster and its regulations on Wednesday after facing legal action from the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse. Read more 

“The Minister of Electricity continues to be seized with that responsibility of reducing the severity of load shedding and its regularity. That’s why we have done extensive visits to the power stations of Eskom. We have got a better understanding at the granular level of what… it takes for us to be able to respond comprehensively.

Related news: South Africa faces loadshedding for the next year

“[The State of Disaster and the Electricity Ministry] were meant to help us accelerate our efforts to deliver, in accordance with the Energy Action Plan. The Minister of Electricity continues to execute and prosecute those responsibilities as determined by the President,” Ramokgopa said.

Related news: South Africa’s state of procurement disaster – wide powers and vague rule for emergency power procurement under the state of disaster threaten a new license to loot

He assured South Africans that the withdrawal of the National State of Disaster will not stop government’s plans to procure new electricity generation – particularly from renewable energy sources.

“The fact that we are terminating the State of Disaster does not degrade our ability to accelerate the delivery of new generation. We can draw from the provisions of the Infrastructure Development Act. We designate those strategic integrated projects and we are able roll them [out].

“What we know… from an Eskom point of view is that the PFMA [Public Finance Management Act] does make provision… If there are issues around emergencies and if as a result of inaction, we are likely to see loss of life, harm to the environment. The PFMA does provide for us to use provisions on procurement on an emergency basis. There are provisions that allow for deviations and [some of]those deviations address… for example harm to critical infrastructure.

“Those provisions from a procurement point of view are made possible in the PFMA and therefore, the termination of the State of Disaster has no impact on that,” Ramokgopa said.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal


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