Presidency clarifies Deputy President's role in Eskom War Room

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Pretoria - The Presidency has moved to clarify Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s work in the Eskom War Room.

Deputy President Ramaphosa’s work in the operation is guided by Cabinet’s five- point plan to address the electricity challenges facing the country, the Presidency said on Wednesday.

In the wake of loadshedding, President Jacob Zuma in December assigned Deputy President Ramaphosa to oversee the turnaround of Eskom in what was labelled the “war room.”

The war room - made up of the Departments of Energy, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Public Enterprises, National Treasury, Economic Development, Water and Sanitation and Eskom, as well as technical officials – is expected to look into Eskom’s short- and long-term energy challenges.

Cabinet at the time adopted a five-point plan to address the lack of sufficient capacity to meet the country’s energy needs.

The plan covers interventions that Eskom will undertake; harnessing the cogeneration opportunity through the extension of existing contracts with the private sector; accelerating the programme for substitution of diesel with gas to fire up the diesel power plants; launching a coal independent power producer programme; and managing demand through specific interventions within residential dwellings, public and commercial buildings and municipalities through retrofitting energy efficient technologies.

On Tuesday, Democratic Alliance MP Pieter Van Dalen questioned Deputy President Ramaphosa’s role in leading the war room, saying his company Shanduka Group had made money from selling coal to Eskom.

Deputy President Ramaphosa has divested his financial interests in the Shanduka Group, the Presidency said on Wednesday.

“The Office of the Deputy President reiterates that Deputy President Ramaphosa has divested his financial interests in the Shanduka Group following his assumption of office.

“Consequently, Deputy President Ramaphosa holds no mining interests,” it said. –