Power crisis: This is the role of Gordhan, Ramokgopa


Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa approved a memorandum of understanding entered into with Pravin Gordhan, the Minister of Public Enterprises, and his electricity counterpart, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, to outline their respective duties regarding Eskom and the solution to the power crisis.

Ramokgopa was already appointed as the minister of electricity in March last year – however, since then he has not been labeled as a great bright spot in the search for solutions to the power crisis.

According to Vincent Magwenya, spokesman for the presidency, the agreement will create a firm basis for a cooperative approach between the two ministers in the exercise of their powers and functions.

It describes the roles and duties of the Minister of Electricity as follows:

  • To focus full time on all aspects of the power crisis and the work of the national energy crisis committee.
  • To exercise authority over the Eskom board and management to end load shedding and to ensure that the energy action plan is introduced without delay.
  • To improve generation capacity and the purchase of additional capacity.
  • To oversee the implementation of the Eskom generation recovery plan.
  • To ensure that the generating fleet performs optimally.
  • To ensure that matters related to transmission will be handled, including issuing requests for proposals for the financing of new transmission lines.
  • To develop financing models and options for transfer with the national treasury and the presidency.

Magwenya says the agreement also takes into account Eskom’s Memorandum of Association, which makes it mandatory to inform the Minister of Public Enterprises about critical decisions in this regard.

The agreement stipulates that the Minister of Public Enterprises:

  • The shareholder representative of Eskom will remain.
  • The Minister of Electricity in his interactions with the council must support.
  • The restructuring of Eskom in line with Eskom’s future plan must get.
  • The establishment and operationalization of the transmission company must ensure.
  • The foundation must lie for the restructuring of Eskom which results from the amendment bill to the Electricity Regulation Act.
  • Oversee the implementation of the just energy transition strategy as provided for in the shareholder agreement.

The agreement provides for regular review meetings between the ministers to deal with any obstacles to its implementation.

“The ministers will also have regular review meetings with the president,” says Magwenya.

According to Ramaphosa, considerable progress has already been made with solutions to the power crisis.

“However, there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure an adequate supply of electricity.

“The collaborative approach outlined in the memorandum of understanding will further strengthen Eskom’s efforts to resolve the electricity crisis,” says Ramaphosa.

The provisions set out in the agreement will apply until the end of the current administration.