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Ramaphosa transfers responsibility for new power generation to Ramokgopa, pulling plug on Mantashe

Ramaphosa transfers responsibility for new power generation to Ramokgopa, pulling plug on Mantashe
Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa. (Graphic: Jocelyn Adamson; Photo by Gallo Images / Sowetan / Vathiswa Ruselo)

President Cyril Ramaphosa has finally given his new electricity minister real power, transferring responsibility for procuring new electricity generation to Kgosientsho Ramokgopa from Minerals and energy minister Gwede Mantashe, who has failed completely on this front.

Ramaphosa has pulled the plug on Mantashe. 

In a proclamation published on Friday, the President said he was transferring responsibility for new power procurement to Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, whose role since his appointment in March has been ill-defined. 

That responsibility previously lay with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), which under Minister Gwede Mantashe has failed to add a single megawatt to the grid. Its failure to do so under his tenure is one of the key reasons behind the rolling blackouts slashing economic growth, fueling inflation and making life miserable for virtually every South African.

“President Cyril Ramaphosa has, in terms of Section 97 of the Constitution, signed a proclamation that transfers to the Minister of Electricity certain powers and functions entrusted by the Electricity Regulation Act,” the presidency said in a statement. 

“This proclamation will provide the Minister of Electricity with the powers necessary to direct the procurement of new generation capacity and ensure security of supply,” it said. 

The proclamation comes against the backdrop of a worsening power crisis which has sent the rand crashing to new lows against the dollar and shattered any prospects of meaningful economic growth or job creation. 

It comes 10 days after Mantashe announced that the DMRE would be putting out requests for proposals for a range of new sources for the ailing grid, including projects for 3,000MW of gas-to-power and 2,500MW of nuclear energy. The controversial Karpowership deal has also been steaming ahead after running aground with legal and environmental challenges. 

The loss of such procurement powers is a blow to Mantashe, under whose watch the DMRE has fallen into a state of dysfunction on various fronts. 

The announcement also coincides with the Daily Maverick’s flagship event, The Gathering: The Earth Edition, which is focused on the climate crisis and the just energy transition that Mantashe has been reluctant to embrace. DM

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  • Mike99 S says:

    We live in Hope!
    We are very good of that 🙂

    • Andrew W says:

      Too little too late. Gweezy must go. Simple. If that’s all Squirrel gets right in 8 years, then he gets a g9ld star

      • Ukraak17 says:

        I think Squirrel must go! In his tenure, he has achieved as much as when he was DP – nothing. We were waiting for the new dawn, only to find out that the clocks were wrong and it was dusk that was coming, closely followed by the grim reaper.

      • Iam Fedup says:

        No , not Mantashe alone. Every single last one of ALL card carrying members and supporters of the ANC & EFF. Not going to happen

        • Francois Smith says:

          No,Mantashe must go to manage Eskom. 18 months ago, he said it will take 6 months to get Eskom fixed. If Greedy reports to Ramokgopa, he can let Sputla in on the secrets and then Sputla will not have to buy 1 MW of capacity.
          It is however strange that these things are always published when Ramapoepol thinks no one is watching. Also, one wonders how the power dynamics will play out in the ANC now.

  • David Katz says:

    Now we will see who really runs the country and surely a new round of political expose’s

  • Gordon Bentley says:

    For goodness sake why do we have to have these exceptionally expensive Karpower ships for so long when we have natural gas in abundance and have the means to exploit this source of natural power. The company Renergen is standing-by and would be able to implement this source of power without bankrupting South Africa. Yes it may require a bit more infrastructure but still a better economic opportunity than Karpower ships!!…. Yes I may feel sorry for the family Mantashe who reportedly have shares in KarpowerShips… (???)

    No, I admit, not really sorry…

  • Terry Hodson says:

    He should have go rid of Mantashe ages ago. He’s caused a lot of damage.

    • ANC must GO says:

      Crises management! That’s what this useless govt does. Why wait for the 11th hour? André could/would have eagerly implemented new power generation.

    • Roelf Pretorius says:

      Mantashe’s problem is that he is maintaining and protecting his ideology instead of the interests of SA. But then, most of the ANC is doing it also, that is probably why he is still in cabinet.

  • Margaret Jensen says:

    Oh this is good news indeed. Those in th

    This is a further step in the path if transformation to greener energy!!!

  • Joe Soap says:

    This is a blow to Mantashe, he can no longer look after his own self-interest.

  • Temmy Randeria says:

    Don’t know much about Ramokgopa but anyone can do better than Mantashe. Not a single Watt added since his tenure started. For once Ramaphosa made the correct decision to remove responsibility from Mantashe.
    Hopefully Ramokgopa not bullied by Mantashe into his way of thinking

    • Jagdish Makan says:

      Cyril has finally shown some backbone, but Gweezy is now a wounded buffalo.
      Will Ramokgopa survive long enough to finish his mandate ? only time will tell. Cyril watch your back!

  • Benevolence X says:

    Good riddance! Mantashe has been a complete disaster! What’s the point of having three degrees and retain your foolishness and corrupt mindset. Hopefully Ramakgopa will end this madness of Karpowerships. You can tell it’s retirement plan for many. Even young Julius is advocating for it, you can tell these Karpowership guys have done their political bidding.

  • Selwyn Lange says:

    I dont thinkit is entirely true that Gwede was protecting the coal producers – although there might be evidence to that. I think he is and has been protecting the union members. Just consider his own background as a union leader. Then regarding powerships: they might be a good short term solution – up to a maximum of 10 years. But 20 years??? Nobobody can can sign a limited agreement for that length of time. Who knows what the future of power generation will be. Just think how quickly renewable energy has developed.
    But a huge thumbs up to CR for eventually getting rid of Gwede effectively.

    • Stuart Woodhead says:

      Just check how many coal trucks are owned by Gwede and his mates then you will understand why they do not want Transnet to operate or any of the conveyor belt systems to operate.
      Also how much of the diesel cost gets syphoned to the ANC?

      • Val Ruscheniko says:

        Russian diesel coming in to SA makes it even easier for the ANC too siphon its cut – party coffers urgently need a refill before the election later this year.

  • Angus Auchterlonie says:

    Well, the entrepreneurial fruit seller on the corner could do a better job than Uncle Gwedi, so Ramokgopa should have no problem hopping over a very low bar! Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like Mantashe is being kicked out completely, that would have been a real win!

  • Jane Crankshaw says:

    Slowly slowly catchee monkey! Light at the end of the tunnel at last?

  • Marcela Reynoso says:

    Mantashe 😱 scary guy
    Wouldn’t he be one of the high level politicians unnamed by Mr De Ruyter?
    Wouldn’t it be a move to get him out of the pictures before someone opens the dirty pot?
    This last move seems like 2024 campaign ONLY
    Our President isn’t a idiot, he is very aware of South African demands, he is just a puppet of a corrupted party.
    His comrades have to eat too

  • Chris Lee says:

    Every red flag in me is on alert with this one. This just looks much too easy and a deal must have been done in the background to get Mantashe to agree without a fight, as usual, involving SA Taxpayers money no doubt. Nothing these people do can be trusted at face value anymore. We’re a long way past that.

    • dave kloot says:

      Agree Chris. Don’t trust these greedy corrupt liars. ANYTHING they do must not be taken at face value. Greedy has been paid BIG MONEY to let this happen.

  • idnankin says:

    Really what plug has he pulled. Unfortunatelt Mr pathetic President the mafia boss Gwede Manteshe is running this country and you can do nothing about it. If Manteshe goes you will have some chance in fixing this siruation.

    • Anne De Wet says:

      Just because the new minister has been handed some tasks does not mean that the ineffectual Mantashe has been silenced! He and CR are ‘kop in een mis’. CR has allowed his cadres to loot SOE’s mercilessly and he cannot fix much in the 10 months remaining before 2024 elections. His own ministers have been eating because he is such a sweet talker with the uneducated masses bound to vote for the ANC again. God bless our country!

  • Iam Fedup says:

    Their collective past behaviours and failures can fully predict what the future failures will be. I hope I’m wrong – but I doubt the optimism.

  • Philip Armstrong says:

    The jury is out. Let’s wait and see. There are always wheels within wheels with that crowd of gangsters. Do not trust them at all. We have too often been disappointed!

  • Chris 123 says:

    And what about Cele, who transferred two very competent senior officers because they didn’t serve him pork at a training Centre, which by the way is Halaal! How can this man still be on the job!!!? Cyril?

  • Trevor Venter says:

    How is it possible for the author of this article to miss (or not mention) the detail of S34(2)(a)- (e) of the act which still gives Manthase contractual, tender and procurement authority and thereby making the so called ‘transfers of responsibility for new power generation to Ramokgopa’ a polical fudge?

  • Ivan van Heerden says:

    We are seeing the fruits of the ANC governments desire for more looting. I don’t think there is a loadshedding crisis. I think there is a cynical manipulation of Eskom by ANC Mafia cabals who supply diesel to the open cycle generators, have a vested interest in the ridiculous 20 year Karpowership debacle and lastly who want Russian nuclear powerstations built.

  • Rory Macnamara says:

    So the Electricity minister only starts earning a salary from now!

  • André Pelser says:

    Not really! Another Ramaphosa sleight of hand! Mantashe is still in control. Sputla role is to play to the gallery. The proof is in the money trail.

  • Caroline de Braganza says:

    I’ve read Marianne Merten’s article where she points out “the Government Gazette notice expressly excludes Section 34(2)(a) – (e) from the transfer of functions from Minister Gwede Mantashe to Ramokgopa.”

    So things aren’t as rosy as they seem!

  • David Crossley says:

    This is a good start – sadly the ANC is beyond redemption and the rot is too deep to really make a real difference. Maybe it’s time to call time on politicians – period.

  • Gwese mantashe is complete and utter idiot,why is people that has this this messed up ideology allowed to be in power,he everytime he opens his mouth he sound more stupid,he even looks stupid,the A N C has lost its legitimacy,they are a corrupt party,whose leaders know their time is running out,so now they loot and plunder before the gravy train comes to and end

  • deandradetony4 says:

    Manthash is a greedy person, not worrowing about the people who he serves, only back pocket.
    Does he know what to do. NO

  • Clifton Coetzee says:

    Will Gweezy jump ship to Zuma’s MK party ?

  • Renn Moore says:

    Failed “on this front” ? Really? Please remind us. Where and when did he succed again?

  • Chris Orr says:

    A bit late!

  • coetzeepeetsnr says:

    It for sure couldńt get worse. Transferring more power to our electicity minister is hopefully, on behalf of the whole country, a step in the right direction. Still however canť understand why our president had to delay the process of a change for so long. Did it really take that long to entangle himself from the tenticles of Mantashe??

  • Hennie Lombard says:

    NOW that our minister of ESKOM aka Electricity, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa has a job description, maybe our tax money paying for his over-inflated salary, will amount to something? (Why do I feel this is wishful thinking)! We should probably look forward to more ministers being appointed – like one for Toilet Paper and another for Sewerage Works.

  • Iam Fedup says:

    As if this will make a difference. The weakness of the ANC is that no individual has the competence or integrity to take any decent decisions, and get, like all his predecessors, will just toe the party line. NOTHING the ANC touches can be turned around. They have performed the miracle of turning gold into dust.

  • David Crossley says:

    At last! A realisation that Mantashe is worse than useless and a genuine impediment to any future economic growth.
    Now all Cyril has to do is duplicate this action with most of the Ministers under his management starting with Foreign Affairs – the latest attempt to brand Israel with genocide in Gaza will go down as a huge error of judgement, however passionately the ANC feels about supporting the Palestinians.
    The resumption of load shedding was cynically predicted by most South Africans but is still a body blow to those hoping for a better year in 2024.

  • DANIEL VOLSCHENK says:

    It sure takes this useless CR to wake up to reality. Andre told him months ago on how to run a profitable business and provided names as well, but all the comrades in cahoots are too busy filling up their monetary retirement accounts to see the true picture. It’s a disgrace to look on how the ANC runs this once beautiful country into a downwards crush. There are NOBODY in the government that is capable to fix the disastrous Eskom from collapsing and save us from permanent darkness. But one thing I don’t understand is that when it comes to the voting day, the majority that moans and groans, still have the mentality to vote for the ANC..!! But yes, I would love to see what is the IQ rate of the ministers..? Do you need more than one hand to calculate this.?

  • Rae Earl says:

    As usual, Ramaphosa dithers and stumbles around aimlessly until matters reach crisis point. The inept and autocratic Mantashe has cost the country dearly and should have been fired years ago. How is Ramaphosa going to deal with another crisis, ie. Transnet? His dithering lack of action in this regard is also costing billions in lost revenue and massive operational losses, all caused by his insistence on ill qualified cadre deployment in critically important SOE’s. It is time for his tenure to end.

  • Andre Grobler says:

    Ramakgopa… of the “let’s spend 2 billion in smart meters” for the city of tshwane??? Oh joy, this is going to be fun… Not!

  • John Ritchie says:

    May 2023??
    So, if correct, what’s happened since then?
    Furthermore, what’s the point of procuring new power sources, if the grid can’t support them?

  • Peter Merrington says:

    How long does it take? How many blondes to change a light bulb? What is the wavelength of a piece of string? God save South Africa. Do put Uncle Gwede out to pasture please. Does anybody remember the old mantras, the idiotic ‘Viva COSATU, Viva ANC, viva SACP’? (Which of course presupposed a real economy and real industry and all the other nice goodies which allow for trade unions and artisans and all the rest, and (once upon a time) allowed for the fantasy of a Communist Party and so on. We seem to be living in a fantasy world, the remnant of ANC struggle nostalgia, and it’s long overdue that the sad Old Guard is pensioned off. Viva renewal. Viva. But what worth actually remains in the wake of these old struggle-fogies? What is yet possible? Who knows.

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