South Africa’s electricity minister is not accountable to the people of South Africa

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  • Yesterday, South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) blocked the establishment of an oversight committe for the country’s newly appointment electricity minister, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa.
  • Since his appointed, Ramokgopa has jumped around the country meeting energy industry stakeholders, heavy users, cabinet and all of Eskom’s power generation facilities.
  • No-one is quite sure what his designation is.
  • South African’s face up to 16 hours of blackouts daily this winter. Read more

In parliament earlier this month ANC MP, Mina Lesoma, said that the Electricity Minister has no department, no staff, no budget and it relies on the administration budget of the Presidency. “It (electricity ministry) does not have a strategic five-year plan, but rather it is an immediate programme …of oversight of an existing plan……it does not have an annual performance plan, but it is a programme in the Presidency.” She added that Ramokgopa’s appointment was not about overhauling the executive rather, it was about the government being more effective and decisive.

Lesoma and her party were arguing against the establishment of an ad hoc oversight committee of the Electricity Minister in a plenary session in parliament yesterday citing also that only one year remains until the next national election. The motion was proposed by opposition party MP Kevin Mileham, who represents the Democratic Alliance. Mileham argued that in terms of the Constitution, Ramokgopa, as an appointed minister, is accountable to Parliament and must be held to account.

Related news: Government to assist municipalities to settle R56.3 billion debt to Eskom

Yesterday in parliament the ANC blocked the motion leaving the country’s energy minister unaccountable to Parliament and effectively, unaccountable to the people of South Africa.

In another significant move yesterday, Parliament approved the R254bn Eskom bailout through the Eskom Debt Relief Bill. More details on this bill HERE 

Author: Bryan Groenendaal


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