Almost three months after appointing a minister of electricity, President Cyril Ramaphosa has finally signed a proclamation transferring some powers and functions to Kgosientsho Ramokgopa.
The move sees certain powers removed from energy minister Gwede Mantashe and handed to Ramokgopa, although the former will continue to play a large role in energy-related decisions.
“After due consideration, President Ramaphosa has transferred to the minister of electricity all powers and functions contained in the Electricity Regulation Act that were previously entrusted to the minister of mineral resources & energy,” a statement from the president’s office on Friday said.
Ramaphosa has transferred the powers and functions set out in section 34(2) of the act, Ramaphosa said. This section empowers Ramokgopa to:
- Determine whether new generation capacity is needed to ensure the continued uninterrupted supply of electricity;
- Determine the types of energy sources from which electricity must be generated, and the percentages of electricity that must be generated from such sources;
- Determine that electricity produced in this way may only be sold to the persons or in the manner set out in such notice;
- Determine that electricity thus produced must be purchased by the persons set out in such notice;
- Require that new generation capacity must (i) be established through a tendering procedure that is fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective and (ii) provide for private sector participation.
“The proclamation will provide Ramokgopa with the powers necessary to direct the procurement of new generation capacity and ensure security of supply,” the president’s office said.
However, other powers and functions – including those related to the implementation of determinations made in terms of section 34 – will remain with Mantashe.
Political economist Daniel Silke said it sounds as if the powers given to Ramokgopa will lessen the scope of Mantashe’s involvement, but that nevertheless the whole appointment was poorly conceived.
“It’s just another symptom of the internal battles of the ANC, where one sector is at loggerheads with another, not just in energy,” Silke said.
“Perhaps appointing an energy minister will give Ramaphosa the ammunition he needs to move towards more deregulation, but it’s an ideological battle, an elite agreement between certain personalities. This power mix in the ANC cannot be resolved and all the rhetoric in the world is not going to help,” Silke said. – © 2023 NewsCentral Media