Ramokgopa must come back from Kenya and fix the loadshedding mess

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

“[Less loadshedding]…and…the improvement we are seeing, is not an act of God, but is testament to the fact that this recovery is sustainable, this recovery is enduring. I think that is the message that I want to convey” – Minister of Electricity, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa on 9 July 2023

Please find attached a soundbite by Samantha Graham-Maré MP.

Two months after he confidently said that the recovery in generation capacity at Eskom was sustainable and enduring, the Minister of Electricity, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa has today made a sudden u-turn and told South Africans, who have once again been plunged into another painful bout of stage 6 loadshedding, that there is “no shortcut to end loadshedding”.

Ramokgopa’s lies have finally caught up with him and instead of facing the unfolding electricity crisis head-on, he has jetted off to Kenya for a summit that he could have assigned a senior official in his Department to attend on his behalf.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) demands that Ramokgopa cuts short his trip to Kenya and comes back to South Africa to fix the loadshedding mess that the ANC government created. Taxpayers cannot pay for Ramokgopa’s jet setting lifestyle and five star hotel stays while they sit in the dark.

As soon as he lands back in South Africa, the first order of business for Ramokgopa is to make sure that he provides clarity, together with the Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, on why Eskom still has no substantive CEO – six months after the former CEO Andre de Ruyter left the organisation.

With an unplanned capacity loss factor of 17 200MW, which is partly responsible for the current stage 6 loadshedding, the absence of a CEO for extended periods of time is compromising accountability and consequence management at power station level. The ANC government must be held to account for this tardy approach to appointing a new CEO, especially when viewed against the metric that Eskom is an entity in deep operational crisis.

While Eskom did suspend planned maintenance during the winter months, Ramokgopa should explain why no forward planning was made to factor in the ramping up of maintenance during summer. The economy is facing serious headwinds at the moment and higher levels of loadshedding is only going to make a bad situation worse.

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