Opposition parties disappointed with Ramaphosa’s Cabinet reshuffle

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Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen has expressed disappointment with the appointment of Kgosientsho Ramokgopa as Minister of Electricity.

President Cyril Ramaphosa named Ramokgopa who has been working in the Presidency as his infrastructure advisor and has served as Mayor of Tshwane between 2010 and 2016.

He announced a number of changes to his executive on Monday night at Pretoria’s Union Buildings, including the appointment of Paul Mashatile as his deputy.

Steenhuisen says Ramokgopa’s track record does not inspire confidence that he will be able to bring rolling blackouts to an end.

“Given the crisis we are in, it is unlikely that this individual will have the heft to get us out of it and time will tell. The President has now promised us that load shedding will come to an end. This individual is going to bring load shedding to an end and we look forward to measuring the progress in this regard.”

“I certainly do not hold out much faith and hope, given the individual’s track record when he was in government. I think we are in for tough times ahead. I really think we could have done with an energy expert in this role to be able to get to grips with the crisis,” adds Steenhuisen.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has dismissed the appointment of Ramokgopa as a political ploy by President Ramaphosa.

EFF national spokesperson Sinawo Tambo says if the President was serious, he would have dealt with the two ministers who are involved in the energy crisis, the Ministers of Public Enterprises and Minerals and Energy.

“If Gwede Mantashe and Pravin Gordhan are failing to resolve the energy crisis in South Africa, why are we not removing them and replacing them with competent people? Why are we creating a third ministry to do the same job that they were failing to do but keep them in the same job? It’s going to create confusion. It serves no purpose but to fool South Africans that something is being done,” adds Tambo.

Meanwhile, the African National Congress (ANC) has welcomed Ramaphosa’s Cabinet reshuffle, particularly his choice of Minister of Electricity.

ANC Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula says his appointment signals that government is taking a focussed approach to ending rolling blackouts.

“Level-headed, academic record, understanding things…you know it is one thing to talk in generalities, these things need engineering capacity. They don’t just need politics but this one is coming with capacity and politics. Meaning he is coming at a macropolitical level, he can understand things and he can enforce implementation. De Ruyter [former Eskom CEO André de Ruyter] did not have that,” says Mbalula.

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