Electricity minister Kgosientso Ramokgopa said he does not live in a ministerial residence and, therefore, suffers from load-shedding like the rest of South Africa.
Speaking to SABC News, he said he was late for the interview because he was affected by traffic light outages and heavy traffic.
He added that his house suffers electricity outages, like most other homes in South Africa, because he does not live in an official ministerial residence.
The Department of Public Works spent over R2 million in 2021 and 2022 to install generators at ministers’ homes.
The department has spent almost R800,000 running the generators between July and December 2022 to ensure ministers are not affected by load-shedding.
However, Ramokgopa said he does not enjoy ministerial load-shedding protection because he still lives in his private home.
“I am not provided for because I am not living in a ministerial house. I am living in my own private house,” he said.
“I am not immune to every South African’s frustration, disappointment, and anger. I can relate to that,” he said.
Ramokgopa said people’s anger is justified. “People’s lives are disrupted and the economy is under significant strain,” he said.
He recently visited the motoring manufacturing plant of Mercedes-Benz, Isuzu, and Volkswagen, and the outlook was bleak.
“If we continue with higher stages of load-shedding, they will not be able to produce vehicles and will struggle to justify their existence,” he said.
Should these plants close down, it will negatively impact unemployment, the communities relying on these jobs, and the tax base.
Commenting on his lack of power to do anything about load-shedding, he said he is working with other ministries to address the power crisis.
One of the interventions is the planned installation of smart meters to manage demand during peak times.
It will allow Eskom to limit demand to households and, therefore, reduce the stages of load-shedding.
Another project is to support the manufacturing industry in installing solar PV systems and helping them in the provisioning of battery storage.