President Ramaphosa announces state of disaster to deal with energy crisis

President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a national state of disaster to help the government deal with the energy crisis that has seen a malfunctioning Eskom frequently plunge the country into darkness.

Ramaphosa also announced he will appoint a minister of electricity in the presidency.

“The minister of Cogta has just gazetted a declaration of state of disaster which will begin with immediate effect,” Ramaphosa said in his state of the nation address on Thursday evening.

“It will provide practical measures that we need to take to support businesses with an uninterrupted power supply.”

The state of disaster will enable government to “accelerate energy process and limit regulatory requirements”, said Ramaphosa.

“The AG [auditor-general] will be brought in to ensure continuous monitoring of expenditure to guard against any abuse of state finances,” he said.

“I will appoint a minister of electricity in the presidency.”

“The minister will focus full time on the work of the Eskom board and management on ending load-shedding and ensuring the energy plan is implemented without delay.”


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