Cape Town - Nearly four months since appointing Kgosientsho Ramokgopa as the Minister of Electricity, President Cyril Ramaphosa has yet to finalise a budget allocation to the ministry in line with its assigned legislative mandate.
“The Presidency in consultation with the National Treasury is in a process of finalising budget allocation to the Ministry.
“Furthermore, co-ordination has been activated through intergovernmental relations to use available resources to respond effectively to the national energy crisis,” Ramaphosa said.
He made these remarks when responding to EFF MP Omphile Maotwe, who had asked him about the total budget allocated to Ramokgopa’s ministry and where the money for the budget had been sourced from.
Ramaphosa appointed Ramokgopa to the position when he reshuffled his Cabinet in March.
However, Ramokgopa’s ministry does not have a dedicated budget and there is no portfolio in Parliament that plays oversight over it.
In his response, Ramaphosa said he appointed Ramokgopa to focus on reducing the severity and frequency of load shedding as a matter of urgency.
He also said Ramokgopa will oversee all aspects of the electricity crisis response, including the work of the National Energy Crisis Committee and implementation of the Energy Action Plan.
Ramokgopa will also facilitate the co-ordination of the numerous departments and entities involved in the crisis response, work with the Eskom leadership to turn around the performance of existing power stations, and accelerate the procurement of new generation capacity.
Ramaphosa said he has transferred to Ramokgopa all powers and functions contained in Section 34(1) of the Electricity Regulation Act, which were previously entrusted to the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, on May 24.
In terms of the legislation, Ramokgopa may, in consultation with the regulator, determine new generation capacity needed to ensure the continued uninterrupted supply of electricity and determine the types of energy sources from which electricity must be generated, among other things.