Free rein for electricity minister as parliament rejects ad hoc committee

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

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Kevin Mileham MP.

Yesterday’s rejection of the Democratic Alliance’s motion in Parliament to establish an ad hoc committee to oversee the projects, activities, and decisions of the newly appointed Minister of Electricity, Kgosientso Ramokgopa, is yet another example of the ANC’s ongoing reluctance to ensure accountability and transparency.

The Zondo Commission of Enquiry into State Capture noted that Parliament had failed to effectively hold the executive accountable and proposed measures the legislature should take to remedy the situation. Despite several attempts by the DA to implement these measures, the ANC has repeatedly rejected them. This latest refusal to demonstrate the absolute basics of good governance is indicative of a party that has abandoned all pretence of the moral high ground.

Ramokgopa is now left answering only to the President, and not to Parliament as required by section 55(2) of the Constitution. Despite the ANC’s protestations that Minister Ramokgopa is available to answer questions in Parliament once per quarter, this falls far short of the oversight expected and required over executive authorities. Given the scale and impact of the electricity crisis, we would expect a much higher level of scrutiny over the plans and activities of the Minister responsible for addressing and resolving the problem. We note that Minister Ramokgopa’s powers and functions have still not been published, and that his ministerial performance agreement is also still outstanding.

The Democratic Alliance will therefore seek other oversight opportunities and mechanisms to hold the Minister fully accountable. We will ensure that he reports regularly and comprehensively on the plans and programmes he is initiating to mitigate the impact of rolling blackouts on the lives and livelihoods of ordinary South Africans, the economy, and the country as a whole.