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Announcement of a ‘Minister of Electricity’ confuses Scopa chair

Scopa chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Scopa chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Feb 13, 2023


Cape Town - “Who is who in the zoo?” asked standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) chairperson IFP MP Mkhuleko Hlengwa in relation to the confusion regarding President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of a third minister to deal with Eskom.

In his sixth State of the Nation Address, Ramaphosa revealed that among a litany of other measures to address the load shedding crisis, the new vacancy of a minister of electricity, which will be housed in the presidency.

Hlengwa, who has butted heads with ministers, Eskom officials and the Presidency over the state-owned entity in most of their appearances last year, told the Cape Argus that he was waiting for the terms of reference on which minister would ultimately account over Eskom before his committee.

The Sunday Times reported that senior ANC leaders were caught off guard by Ramaphosa’s announcement of a new ministry.

Hlengwa said: “Instead of adding clarity, it adds confusion. We still have Minerals and Energy, which deals with energy matters.

“You’ve got Public Enterprises, which continues to be the shareholder. There is now a minister of electricity… whatever terms of reference still have to be unpacked.

“You then have National Energy Crisis Committee of Ministers (Neccom) in the Presidency. On top of that you’ve declared a State of Disaster on electricity, which is being managed by the minister of Cogta. Quite frankly, who is who in the zoo?”

The Cape Argus pressed him on who he expected to appear in front of his committee.

“The terms of reference for the new electricity minister have not been spelt out. It will be very presumptuous of us (to speak on the new ministry),” Hlengwa said.

“The energy matter in its entirety will continue to receive the attention of the committee, and the confusion (sic). The relevant stakeholders will be called in.”

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Cape Argus