South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed Kgosientsho Ramokgopa as the head of the country’s newly formed Ministry of Electricity during a cabinet reshuffle that took place on March 6.
The new Minister of Electricity has been tasked to deal with the immediate crisis of load shedding the President said in his statement on changes to the national executive, adding that the aim is to reduce the severity of load shedding in the coming months.
The Minister will have political responsibility, authority and control of South Africa’s Energy Action Plan comprising six interventions developed by government to achieve energy security and end load shedding by 2024.
Ramokgopa will also facilitate the cooperation of various government departments and their response to the country’s electricity crisis. He will work with state-owned Eskom’s leadership to ensure optimal performance and maintenance of power generation stations while ensuring the state utility accelerates the procurement of new generation capacity for grid stability.
The announcement of the new Minister in the Presidency for Electricity follows the South African government declaring a national state of disaster in February 2023 to respond to the electricity crisis as consumers faced up to 8 hours of blackouts a day.
Prior to the appointment, Ramokgopa served as the Executive Mayor of the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality in Gauteng province before being selected as the head of infrastructure in the Presidency.
“The Minister in the Presidency for Electricity will remain in office only for as long as it is necessary to resolve the electricity crisis,” reiterated the President.