Make no mistake, turning around electricity production is the most ambitious and far-reaching activity any South African leader has undertaken for a long time.
Dear Minister Ramokgopa,
Congratulations on your appointment to the position of Minister of Electricity in President Cyril Ramaphosa's Cabinet.
Your appointment represents the last hope that the ANC will turn around the generation and transmission of electricity, which has been going backwards at a substantial rate since the utility was converted into a contract management agency for the politically connected.
You will know that the utility is bleeding the economy at a rate of about R1.5-billion a day, so you have already presided over R15-billion in losses since you took office. And that is the conservative, short-term estimate.
To turn this utility around, you will have to accomplish what two senior ANC figures, the minister of mineral resources and energy, Gwede Mantashe, and the minister of public enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, have failed to do for several years. And you will have to do so with both of them still in the Cabinet and still believing they have ultimate responsibility for Eskom.
It would do you well to dwell for a moment on why these senior ministers...