ANC in Parliament complicit in Ramokgopa’s failure to fix the load-shedding crisis

Issued by Samantha Graham-Maré MP – DA Shadow Minister of Electricity
13 Sep 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Samantha Graham-Maré MP

Five months after the ANC in Parliament voted to reject a DA motion calling for the establishment of an ad hoc parliamentary committee to oversee the Minister of Electricity, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, they have made a sudden U-turn and are now saying he must account to the Public Enterprises committee.

While the DA welcomes the prospect that Ramokgopa will now be directly accountable to Parliament, this sudden U-turn by the ANC is a cowardly cop-out by the ANC to absolve themselves of any responsibility after realising that Ramokgopa has completely failed to fix the electricity crisis.

If anything, the ANC in Parliament is complicit in Ramokgopa’s ‘trial and error’ approach to the crisis which has plunged the country into an indefinite stage 6 load-shedding schedule. A reply to DA Parliamentary Question early in 2023 revealed that South Africans were forking out approximately R13 million a year for the salaries of Ramokgopa and his staff. Despite this exorbitant cost, Ramokgopa has been making endless promises to end load-shedding with nothing to show for it.

During the period in which he had been operating without parliamentary oversight and accountability, Ramokgopa has:

  • Lied to South Africans that “a turning point in the power crisis had been reached” and “load-shedding won’t be rising to higher levels”.
  • Made a misleading claim in July 2023 to the effect that the “recovery” in generation capacity was sustainable and would last until the end of winter.
  • Sunk the country to new load-shedding depths, with estimates showing that load-shedding in 2023 is worse than the last 8 years combined.
  • Blown through Eskom’s diesel budget to maintain the misleading illusion that generation was stabilizing. Eskom is on course to exhaust its diesel budget before the end of Eskom’s financial year in March 2024.
  • Failed to explain why South Africa has not taken up the 100MW that has been offered by the Mozambique government.

Notwithstanding his dismal failure since his appointment as the Minister of Electricity, it has been South Africans, not the ANC government, who have stepped up to install an estimated 4,400MW of rooftop solar PV which, according to independent energy analysts, is double the solar capacity procured under Eskom’s four bid windows. This remarkable feat has been achieved in just one year.

With no accountability, Ramokgopa has been saying a lot but achieving less as load-shedding has continued to wreak havoc on the economy and the lives of ordinary South Africans. He has made no significant impact in developing viable solutions to end load-shedding, both now and in the future.