The persistent power struggle at Eskom has come under scrutiny as Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa voiced concerns over his limited powers during a meeting with the ANC’s National Working Committee (NWC). As per The Citizen, Ramokgopa conveyed his frustration, stating that only Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has insights into the Eskom board, hindering his ability to address the energy crisis effectively. Despite the minister’s assurances to the public about resolving power cuts, questions have arisen about the scope and authority of his role, particularly highlighted during a recent session of Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa).
During the ANC NWC meeting, Ramokgopa revealed challenges related to red tape impeding his duties and his lack of access to essential information about Eskom’s operations. The minister also raised concerns about Eskom’s power sourcing from Mozambique and Namibia. Meanwhile, Gordhan faced scrutiny over inconsistent reports on the power crisis from the Eskom board. The promised bonuses to Eskom employees, announced by Ramokgopa as an incentive for the festive season, drew criticism, especially after the power utility’s reported R24 billion loss.
Responding to queries, Gordhan clarified that President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed Ramokgopa to oversee the National Energy Crisis Committee’s power plan and improve power station performance. However, it was noted that Ramokgopa communicates with the head of the generation, Bheki Nxumalo, through Gordhan. The cancellation of Ramokgopa’s planned visits to power stations without clear reasons raised concerns among MPs, with some suggesting chaos within Eskom. The Democratic Alliance (DA) MP, Alf Lees, expressed that Gordhan’s actions aimed to prevent Ramokgopa’s interference in Eskom’s affairs. In response, Ramokgopa, seemingly denying the cancellations, mentioned that his schedule was under revision. The ANC NWC has instructed the ANC NEC to investigate the powers of the electricity minister.
Picture: X / PresidencyZA
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