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Electricity minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa. File photo. MASI LOSI.
Electricity minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa. File photo. MASI LOSI.

Power may be in short supply countrywide, but in the Western Cape there is also a critical shortage of electricity minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa.

For the fourth time in succession, Ramakgopa failed to attend a scheduled meeting of the provincial legislature’s ad hoc committee on energy, convened on Tuesday to hear about measures to mitigate the power crisis.

“This morning’s briefing had been rescheduled multiple times to accommodate the minister’s schedule over the past two months, and this latest postponement represents the fourth time the minister has failed to attend a briefing arranged specifically for him to discuss his attempts at resolving the energy crisis,” said DA provincial energy spokesperson MPP Christopher Fry.

The repeated no-show appeared to be “a deliberate attempt to avoid accountability”.

The committee resolved to postpone the meeting to allow the minister another chance to attend. However, another no-show would compel it to issue an official summons compelling him to appear.

“The presentation submitted by the minister’s office, which ultimately went unpresented, indicates as many as 859,000 jobs could be affected as a result of load-shedding in 2023,” said the DA.

“While the provincial government has taken steps to exceed its mandate and solve the energy crisis independently, national government remains a key stakeholder, and the minister’s refusal to explain his actions spits in the face of every resident of the Western Cape.”

Fry said: “This situation of endless postponements cannot be allowed to stand, and the DA will investigate the possibility of a summons against the minister should he fail to attend the committee’s urgent meeting request, which will compel him to explain exactly what progress, or lack thereof, he has made.

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