South Africa’s leader reshuffles cabinet, unveils new Electricity minister

In a long-awaited Cabinet reshuffle late Monday (Mar. 6), South Africa’s leader unveiled his new government.

It is comprised of 11 ministers and 9 deputy ministers. The naming of the new electricity minister captured the attention of the public. The state-owned power utility has implemented rolling power cuts across the nation for years but 2022 was the worst.

“We are establishing two new ministries the first of these is the minister for electricity to deal with the immediate crisis of load shedding. The second is the minister with specific responsibilities for planning, monitoring and evaluation, to focus greater attention on the performance of government. “

President Cyril Ramaphosa has faced protests across the country. The ever-worsening power crisis — in which homes and businesses go without electricity for up to 10 hours per day — is strangling Africa’s most developed economy.

“Our most immediate task is to drastically reduce the severity of load shedding in the coming months and ultimately end load shedding altogether.”

Last month, the president declared a state of disaster to deal with the electricity shortages affecting the 60 million South Africans. Power utility Eskom, which turns 100 years old, is struggling with the frequent breakdowns of its coal-fired power stations.

Ramaphosa also announced a new deputy president in the reshuffle and dropped his Tourism Minister.