Ramaphosa strips Mantashe of his powers

President Cyril Ramaphosa has stripped minister of mineral resources and energy Gwede Mantashe of his powers and bestowed them to electricity minister Kgosientsho “Sputla” Ramokgopa, the Presidency announced on Friday.

Ramaphosa’s move comes after months of confusion about exactly what will become of Ramokgopa, who had somewhat become a national tourist visiting businesses across the country.

But Ramaphosa has since ended the confusion by placing all power generation powers that were in Mantashe’s department in Ramakgopa’s office.

“After due consideration, President Ramaphosa has transferred to the minister of electricity all powers and functions contained in Section 34(1) of the Electricity Regulation Act, which was previously entrusted to the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy,” said Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Vincent Magwenya.

“The president has also transferred to the minister of electricity relevant powers and functions set out in Section 34(2) of the Electricity Regulation Act.”

The proclamation will provide Ramokgopa with the powers to direct the procurement of new-generation capacity and ensure the security of supply.

It is not clear if this means matters such as the Independent Power Producers (IPP) bid windows will now be under Ramokgopa’s control.

Magwenya said the move is meant to ensure a co-ordinated system in dealing with the power crisis.

“The minister of electricity will, as the president indicated in the State of the Nation Address, oversee all aspects of the electricity crisis response, including the work of the National Energy Crisis Committee. This will provide a single point of command for the government’s efforts to close the shortfall in electricity supply,” said Magwenya.

“The minister will work full-time with the Eskom board and management to end load-shedding and ensure that the Energy Action Plan announced by the president is implemented without delay.”

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