Ramaphosa’s ‘quid pro quo’ with Mantashe has created a crisis of leadership on the electricity crisis

Issued by Kevin Mileham MP – DA Shadow Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy
19 Jan 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached English and Afrikaans soundbites by Kevin Mileham MP.

Amidst a crippling electricity crisis, President Cyril Ramaphosa has chosen to take the back seat and give way to his Minister of Energy, Gwede Mantashe, to shift the blame and point fingers to everyone else other than himself or the ANC government for creating the crisis in the first place.

This lack of leadership on the electricity crisis is a heavy price that South Africa is paying for the ‘quid pro quo’ deal that Ramaphosa made with Mantashe to enable his re-election as the ANC President.

It is clear that Gwede Mantashe has become a major obstacle in finding solutions to address the crisis. However, since Ramaphosa needs to pay back the political favor that Mantashe did for him at the ANC’s elective congress, he is unable to fire him or tell him to do his job.

Based on the performance agreement that he signed in 2019 with Ramaphosa, wherein he committed to ‘improve energy availability and ensure constant supply of electricity’, Mantashe’s performance has been so dismal that he should have been fired a long time ago. He has failed to achieve the 80% energy availability factor and no ‘additional megawatts have been commissioned’ since 2019.

The DA is not fooled by Mantashe’s poor attempt to shift blame on the cause of the ongoing energy disaster. It is precisely why we have declared Wednesday 25 January as a National Day of Action against ANC loadshedding and unaffordable, unfair electricity price increases.

The primary venue for this “Power to the People” mass protest will be Luthuli House, the ANC’s headquarters in Johannesburg. By choosing Luthuli House, the DA is taking this fight to the scene of the crime. The blame for loadshedding crisis lies squarely at 54 Sauer Street where the seeds to loot and bankrupt Eskom were planted.