Parliament, Saturday, 23 May 2020 – The Select Committee on Land Reform, Environment, Mineral Resources and Energy has welcomed the plan to implement the Nuclear New Build Programme at a scale and pace that the country can afford to ensure the security of energy supply.
The Department of Mineral Resources briefed the committee yesterday on its strategic plan for the five-year term 2020/25, and budget for the 2020/21 financial year.
The committee expressed concern over governance and leadership challenges that riddle the state-owned companies. The committee said, state-owned companies take a big slice from the national budget, but they continue to have challenges. The Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Mr Gwede Mantashe, said since his appointment as the Minister of the department last year, entities that experienced problems at leadership level have functional boards and Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), however, he said there are only two of them that still have such challenges. “We have normalised entities by reducing operational and functional risk,” said Minister Mantashe.
The committee wanted to know the extent to which the department has gone regarding the issue of generation of electricity by municipalities as President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in his State of the Nation Address in February that municipalities in good standing will be able to develop or procure their own power generation.
In response to that, the department said regulations for the municipalities to generate their own electricity are out, but the department said, what is important to note is that power generation for municipalities will be aligned to the national plan.
The committee questioned the impact of Covid-19 on the department’s budget and the department’s work on service delivery. On that issue, the department said it will come back to the committee with a revised budget and new strategies to respond to Covid-19 after the revised national budget has been presented by the Minister of Finance in Parliament.
The committee welcomed the support of the department on small-medium micro-enterprises and told the department that support will inevitably create job opportunities.
Committee Chairperson, Ms Tebogo Modise, said the reduction of fatalities in the mines, the publication of regulations for municipalities to procure their power generation, the connection of electricity to households that are mostly in rural areas, indicate that the department is improving on its work and accelerates its wheels of service delivery.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON LAND REFORM, ENVIRONMENT, MINERAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY, MS TEBOGO MODISE