MPL’s were left disappointed and frustrated after another no-show by Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa at a meeting of the Western Cape’s ad hoc committee on the energy crisis.
According to DA provincial energy spokesperson and committee chairperson MPP Christopher Fry, the minister sent an apology last night, citing an urgent matter he needed to attend to.
ACDP MPL Ferlon Christians said: “Chair, we will have to go through the summons route. If we set a date the minister will give us a time and he’ll disappoint us again. We (wasted) a whole day ... to accommodate the minister.We have constituencies out there that ask questions; I was very hopeful.”
EFF MPL Aishah Cassiem said:, “I would like to register our disappointment, as the EFF, on the minister’s continuous failure to show up. The minister can’t be wasting our time like this. We have questions.
We also have questions on the BRICS deal and I don’t think it will be answered any time soon, based on his disrespect.”
According to Fry, it was the fourth time the minister had failed to attend a briefing arranged for him to discuss his attempts at resolving the energy crisis.
“The committee ultimately voted to postpone the meeting, demand an urgent meeting of the committee with the minister, and failing this, to formally pursue the issuing of a summons,” said Fry.
ANC MPL Cameron Dugmore said Ramokgopa had never indicated to the chairperson of the committee that he was unwilling to attend.
Ramokgopa’s office said he was not avoiding accountability.
“While the minister had conveyed his regret at being unable to attend, owing to another urgent commitment, a team of senior officials was delegated to attend and present to the meeting on the progress on implementing the Energy Action Plan to the committee.
It is also untrue that the minister is avoiding accountability.
Presentations were made to the premier and the Energy Council since March. Briefings were also held with (the) mayor of Cape Town and the City’s officials.
The minister will continue to openly engage with stakeholders across the energy value chain, as he has been doing from the onset, and has committed to reaching out to the Western Cape Legislature to occasion a further opportunity to address the ad hoc committee,” Ramokgopa’s office said.