President Cyril Ramaphosa has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) entered into by Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan and Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa to better manage the effects of load shedding.
The ministers signed the MoU last week and it has been approved by the president.
According to reports, the memorandum was necessary because of the significant crossover and confusion about which minister held power over which functions when it came to Eskom and ending the load shedding crisis in South Africa.
In the past, “Business Report” reported that Gordhan, as the representative shareholder of Eskom, had been the main point of contact between the government and the Eskom board, while Ramokgopa has been mandated to resolve the power crisis which needed the involvement of the Eskom board and added to a disconnect between the two ministries.
In a statement on Friday, Ramaphosa said the MoU had been seen as being able to establish a firm basis for a collaborative approach between the two ministers in exercising their assigned powers and functions.
“While significant progress has been made in reducing the severity of load shedding, much work still needs to be done to guarantee a secure supply of electricity. The collaborative approach outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding will further strengthen Eskom’s efforts to resolve the electricity crisis.”
Ramaphosa said that through the memorandum, Gordhan and Ramokgopa’s roles had been clarified which would allow the ministers to work together more coherently than has been the case in the past few months.
That, he said, was because the MoU made provision for regular review meetings between the ministers to address any impediments to its implementation while being able to have regular review meetings with the president.
“The Ministers will work together more closely and with their respective responsibilities clearly outlined to ensure the effective implementation of the Energy Action Plan,” the president said.
He had announced the Energy Action Plan in July 2022 as South Africa’s plan to end load shedding and achieve energy security.
The plan outlined a bold set of actions aimed at fixing Eskom and adding as much new generation capacity as possible, as quickly as possible, to close the gap in electricity supply.
The president’s office said the new arrangement in the MoU would be operational until the end of the current administration.