Kgosientso Ramokgopa, South Africa’s Electricity Minister turns to China, Germany for help to end load shedding

Kgosientso Ramokgopa, South Africa’s new electricity minister, has stated that he is seeking help from other countries to tackle the energy crisis in the country. In an interview with the Sunday Times, Ramokgopa mentioned that he is talking to various countries to learn about their experiences in resolving energy crises.

He has already met with the Chinese ambassador to discuss a possible partnership to end load shedding, which includes seeking technical expertise, training young people in solar power installation, introducing micro-grids, and sourcing emergency power. Ramokgopa also plans to speak with the Vietnamese ambassador, as the country installed 9,000MW of rooftop solar in just 12 months to combat blackouts.

The minister’s efforts come at a time when load shedding has been reduced, with no load shedding taking place from 5:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on March 19. Ramokgopa emphasized the importance of solving the energy crisis, not only for his ministry but also for other ministers involved with Eskom.

Kgosientso Ramokgopa, South Africa’s Electricity Minister turns to China, Germany for help to end load shedding

The minister recently met with finance minister Enoch Godongwana, public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan, and the minister of mineral resources and energy Gwede Mantashe to discuss the crisis. Ramokgopa noted that all three ministers recognized the urgency of addressing load shedding and offered their support.

Despite Eskom’s recent improvement in power generation, with its six coal-fired power stations achieving an energy availability factor of 70%, Ramokgopa stated that the same power stations were down to 40% the following day. He also warned that the energy situation could worsen as electricity demand increases during winter.

From Doctor to Minister: Meet South Africa’s Powerhouse Kgosientso Ramokgopa

Kgosientso Ramokgopa is a South African politician who currently serves as the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, responsible for the country’s electricity supply. He was appointed to the role in February 2022, following a cabinet reshuffle by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Born on August 22, 1977, in Pretoria, Ramokgopa grew up in Mamelodi, a township in the east of the city. He attended the University of Natal, where he obtained a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree. Ramokgopa then worked as a medical doctor in various public hospitals in South Africa, including in the Eastern Cape and Gauteng provinces.

In 2006, Ramokgopa became involved in politics and joined the African National Congress (ANC). He was elected as a councillor for the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality in 2006 and served in various roles, including as a member of the mayoral committee for health and social development.

In 2011, Ramokgopa was appointed as the mayor of the City of Tshwane, becoming the youngest person to hold the position at the age of 34. During his tenure, he introduced various initiatives aimed at improving service delivery in the municipality, including the implementation of an e-Toll payment system and the construction of a new hospital in Mamelodi.

In 2016, Ramokgopa resigned as the mayor of Tshwane to take up a position as a special advisor to the Premier of Gauteng, David Makhura. He was later appointed as the Gauteng MEC for Health, responsible for overseeing the province’s health services.

Ramokgopa’s experience in public service and his expertise in healthcare and governance made him an ideal candidate for the position of Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy. Since his appointment, he has been working tirelessly to address the country’s energy crisis, which has resulted in frequent power outages and load shedding.

Ramokgopa has been engaging with various countries to learn about their experiences in resolving energy crises and has been seeking partnerships to end load shedding. He has also been working with other ministers to ensure the efficiency of Eskom’s power generation fleet and to introduce new initiatives aimed at improving the country’s energy supply.

Ramokgopa is widely regarded as a competent and dedicated public servant, with a deep commitment to improving the lives of South Africans. His efforts to address the country’s energy crisis are seen as crucial to the country’s economic and social development, and he is widely respected for his leadership in this area.


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