Ever since his appointment as the new Minister of Electricity, Kgosientso Ramokgopa, has not laid out a clear plan of action on how he plans to address the electricity crisis. Ramokgopa’s evasiveness is made worse by the fact that there is no publicly available performance agreement on which to hold him accountable and measure his performance in the discharge of his responsibilities.
In the interest of accountability, my colleague in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), Cathlene Labuschagne, submitted a written question to President Cyril Ramaphosa asking him to provide the DA with a copy of the performance agreement that he signed with Ramokgopa upon his assumption of office as the new Minister of Electricity.
Considering the urgency to find immediate solutions to South Africa’s electricity crisis based on clear measurable targets, the DA has asked the President to present us with a copy of Ramokgopa’s performance agreement detailing key deliverables. South Africans have a right to know that the man who has been tasked with addressing their loadshedding nightmare is making any progress or not.
In a series of interviews soon after his appointment, Ramokgopa claimed that his brief involved implementing the energy plan that was announced by Ramaphosa in August 2022. If that is the case, it is important that that the President shares with the rest of the country the agreed upon performance agreement, with an implementation plan, showing how Ramokgopa will go about actioning the objectives of the energy plan.
The necessity of a publicly available performance agreement for Ramokgopa is further motivated by the fact that there is currently no parliamentary committee to which he is directly accountable to. As part of filling this accountability gap, the DA will soon be tabling a resolution in Parliament calling for the establishment of an ad hoc committee to oversee the work of the new Minister of Electricity. The ad hoc committee will be constituted by select Members of Parliament who currently serve on the Public Enterprises and Energy committees.
Ramaphosa has, on several occasions, made an undertaking to play open cards with the rest of the country on any interventions that his government is making to address the electricity crisis. To assure South Africans that this wasn’t empty rhetoric, he must start by getting the basics right – and the appropriate action to take now is to release Ramokgopa’s performance agreement.