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By Citizen Reporter


SACP, Cosatu slam Ramaphosa’s electricity minister plan

The ANC’s alliance partners have complained about the lack of consultation over the appointment of the minister.

The African National Congress’ (ANC) alliance partners have criticised President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to appoint a minister of electricity to the Presidency without consulting them first.

2023 Sona

This follows Ramaphosa’s announcement during the State of the Nation Address (Sona) last week that he would appoint the minister of electricity to deal with the country’s crippling energy crisis.

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The South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) on Monday held a bilateral session, in Johannesburg, to deliberate on various issues facing the country, with the load shedding crisis and Eskom topping the agenda.

Reconfiguration of alliance

According to the SACP and Cosatu, the decision by Ramaphosa to appoint the electricity minister went against the commitment to reconfigure the alliance and give all three organisations an equal say in the running of government.

“While the idea to appoint a minister of electricity in the Presidency may be well-intentioned, the lack of consultation directly contradicts the spirit of a reconfigured alliance and programmatic unity.

“Our joint commitment to the reconfiguration of the alliance aims to see the alliance play its role as a strategic political centre of the national democratic revolution, as opposed to tailing what the government decides with no consultation, including imposing policy direction on the movement,” said the SACP and Cosatu in a joint statement.

The alliance partners said Ramaphosa’s announcement undermined the role of the alliance with the ANC.

“The pronouncement undermined the role of the alliance, excluded a consideration of other options, and portrayed a picture of presidential unilateralism.

“This must be addressed. We will play our role in this regard as well.”

Eskom’s challenges

The SACP and Cosatu also bemoaned the state of Eskom and other state-owned enterprises that are struggling.

They said Eskom’s productive capacity to generate electricity, transmit and distribute it uninterruptedly had collapsed altogether.

“The destruction of Eskom’s productive capacity undermined the impressive post-1994 household electrification programme. So were the poor designs, poor work and failures to meet completion deadlines at the belatedly introduced Medupi and Kusile power station projects.

“These are also among the factors that built up the Eskom debt crisis and led to the collapse of the chimney stack at Kusile Power Station in 2022 and the explosion at Medupi Power Station in 2021. The two accidents amounted to additional costs, also causing further project completion delays.”

Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe and Asanda Mbayimbayi

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