South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a Cabinet reshuffle late Monday, appointing a new deputy president and several ministers.
“I have decided to appoint Mr. Paul Mashatile as deputy president of the republic,” Ramaphosa said in a televised address.
He replaces David Mabuza, who resigned last month.
Mashatile, 61, also serves as deputy president of the ruling African National Congress party (ANC).
Ramaphosa also introduced two ministries, including that of electricity and the other for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation which will focus greater attention on the performance of the government.
He appointed Kgosientsho Ramokgopa as minister in the Presidency for electricity. He will now be responsible for resolving the current electricity crisis facing the continent’s most industrialized economy.
South Africa is facing its worst electricity crisis in decades, with rolling blackouts of up to six hours a day. Power utility Eskom, which generates over 90% of the country’s electricity, has been struggling to meet demand and implementing different stages of outages for weeks.
Most of the output from the utility’s aging power plant array is coal-fired, with the facilities in need of maintenance.
“The primary task of the new minister will be to significantly reduce the severity and frequency of load shedding (rolling power cuts) as a matter of urgency,” the South African leader said.
Ramaphosa said the electricity minister will be expected to facilitate the coordination of the numerous departments and entities involved in the crisis response, including working with Eskom’s leadership to turn around the performance of existing power stations and accelerating the procurement of new generation capacity.
Other ministers appointed include Khumbudzo Ntshavheni as the minister in the presidency. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is now a minister in the presidency responsible for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities and Maropene Ramokgopa is a minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.
Mondli Gungubele is the minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, while Thembi Nkadimeng is the minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
The Public Service and Administration minister is Noxolo Kiviet, and former KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala is now the minister of Public Works and Infrastructure. Several deputy ministers have also been appointed.
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