Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa was in the firing line again on Wednesday when opposition parties called on him to pull the plug on the position of Minister of Electricity, as it was a duplication of tasks with the energy ministry.
The IFP and ACDP called on Ramaphosa to scrap the position and not appoint the minister of electricity when he announces his Cabinet reshuffle.
IFP MP Mkhuleko Hlengwa said Ramaphosa must hold his ministers accountable instead of adding another layer to the already bloated Cabinet.
He was speaking during the debate on the State of the Nation Address.
“Mr President if I had 47 minutes I would urge you not to appoint the Minister of Electricity because you are duplicating political bureaucracy in an already bloated and excessive Cabinet where you have got the Minister of Minerals and Energy, who deals with policy, the Minister of Public Enterprises continues to be the shareholder.
“At the same time you have declared the state of disaster in which the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs comes in to deal with those matters. On top of that you have got Necom (national energy crisis committee), which is dealing with this crisis in the presidency.
“What is clear Mr President, every time your ministers don’t perform instead of firing them, you protect them by taking things into the presidency,” said Hlengwa.
ACDP leader Kenneth Meshoe said Eskom does not need a Minister of Electricity, but rather a professional who will fix the power utility.
He said the rolling blackouts have cost the economy.
He said this was not sustainable.
Hlengwa added that other than putting other departments in the presidency, Ramaphosa has put the energy action plan, which belonged to minerals and energy, in the presidency.
Ramaphosa has put the presidential youth stimulus into the presidency instead of taking it to the National Youth Development Agency, he said.
The president has infrastructure investment into his office instead of taking it to the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, said Hlengwa.
He also took the Just Energy Transition, which belonged to one of the many departments, and put it in his office.
Hlengwa said Ramaphosa also took the presidential climate commission to his office instead of giving it to the Department of Environmental Affairs.
The red tape reduction team was in the presidency instead of being located in the Department of Small Business Development, added Hlengwa.