Ramokgopa finally gets powers at Eskom

Kgosienthsho Ramokgopa. Image: GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa has approved an agreement giving electricity minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa authority over the board and management of Eskom on ending blackouts, while public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan will oversee its restructuring.

It comes almost a year after Ramokgopa was appointed to the newly created position to help end power outages that have been hindering the economy for more than a decade and reached record levels last year. At the time of the initial announcement there was little detail on what exactly his duties would be and what authority he would have over Eskom.

The memorandum of understanding “establishes a firm basis for a collaborative approach between the ministers in exercising their assigned powers and functions”, the presidency said in a statement Friday.

Ramokgopa’s responsibilities also include improving and buying additional generation capacity, overseeing the implementation of the Eskom generation recovery plan, ensuring that generation fleet performs optimally, and developing and agreeing on financing models and options for the power transmission network, together with national treasury and the presidency.

As a state-owned company, Eskom is overseen by Gordhan’s department. There are plans to split it into transmission, generation and distribution companies.

The agreement “takes into account the Eskom memorandum of incorporation, which makes it obligatory to inform the minister of public enterprises of critical decisions in this respect”, the presidency said. Gordhan’s duties include ensuring the establishment and operationalisation of a national transmission company and the implementation of the so-called just energy transition strategy.  — (c) 2024 Bloomberg LP

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