South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed a former mayor, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, to the newly created position of electricity minister in an effort to address the country’s long-running power crisis.

The new minister faces two vast challenges. Power cuts of up to 12 hours a day – the government has declared a national disaster- and allegations of high-level corruption at the state-run energy giant Eskom.

The company’s former chief executive recently told the media that senior politicians were looting the firm.

Eskom is massively in debt – almost $24bn (£19.9bn) in the red.

The rolling power cuts are strangling the economy. Some say people’s fury over the blackouts might even cost the governing party ANC next year’s election.

In the cabinet changes announced on Monday evening, Mr Ramaphosa also appointed the deputy head of the ANC Paul Mashatile as deputy president.

The move was widely expected following David Mabuza’s resignation last week.

He also replaced the outspoken Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, who has opposed the president in recent months. Her position was handed to a leader of the small opposition party GOOD, Patricia de Lille.

Others who were replaced were the sports arts and culture minister as well as the minister in the presidency for women, youth and persons with disabilities


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