More job losses on the line, says Electricity Minister


Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramakgopa says more South Africans are going to be without jobs as the country is looking to implement stage 8 of load shedding to keep lights on.

Delivering a closing address at the Enlit Africa energy conference in Cape Town on Thursday, Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said 650,000 jobs were lost in the South African economy in 2022 because of the energy crisis – and it might rise to more than 850,000.

Ramakgopa highlighted the impact of load shedding on the country’s economy and the urgent need to fix the situation.

Meanwhile, Deputy President Paul Mashatile assured South Africans that government was determined to bring an end to load shedding.

“Government is determined to keep the lights on, apart from appointing the Minister of Electricity. You know that we’ve have announced that we are now embarking on purchasing emergency power.”

This week, former Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter was scrutinized by the public minister Pravin Gordhan after a 237-page “tell-all” book titled “Truth to Power: My Three Years Inside Eskom” detailing allegations of corruption that happened at Eskom during his tenure, implicating senior and high rank politicians of siphoning billions of rands out of Eskom a month.

Minister Gordhan suggested that the former Eskom CEO may have broken confidentiality clauses of his employment contract by speaking publicly about Eskom affairs.

“In no big institution like Eskom in the private sector, would you have a CEO who has left for whatever reason, writing chapter and verse about events that have been taking place in the company itself.”

Gordhan said that De Ruyter should have used his book to apologise to the nation for his shortcomings, rather than as an excuse for his failures.

Eskom chairperson Mpho Makwana said the Eskom board had taken note of what de Ruyter said in his book, adding that the power utility will be taking action against him.

“It must be noted and placed on record that trust was broken by him making those public statements and the publication of the book, and this trust was broken in the most repulsive manner possible,” Makwana said.

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