In an effort to address the nation’s protracted power crisis, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has named a former mayor, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, to the newly formed position of electricity minister.
Two enormous challenges await the incoming minister. Up to 12 hours per day of power outages, which the government has deemed a national emergency, and claims of high-level corruption at state-run energy company Eskom.
Recently, the company’s former CEO informed the media that senior politicians were robbing the business. Eskom is deeply in debt; it owes nearly $24 billion.
The industry is being choked off by the ongoing power outages. Some claim that public outrage over the outages could cost the ruling ANC party the election next year.
Paul Mashatile, the ANC’s deputy head, was also named as vice president by Mr. Ramaphosa as part of the changes to the cabinet that were revealed on Monday evening. Following the resignation of David Mabuza last week, the action was generally anticipated.
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