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South African president reshuffles Cabinet, appoints new deputy president, ministers

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a Cabinet reshuffle late Monday, appointing a new deputy president and several ministers.

“I have decided to appoint Mr. Paul Mashatile as deputy president of the republic,” Ramaphosa said in a televised address.

He replaces David Mabuza, who resigned last month.

Mashatile, 61, also serves as deputy president of the ruling African National Congress party (ANC).

Ramaphosa also introduced two ministries, including that of electricity and the other for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation which will focus greater attention on the performance of the government.

He appointed Kgosientsho Ramokgopa as minister in the Presidency for electricity. He will now be responsible for resolving the current electricity crisis facing the continent’s most industrialized economy.

South Africa is facing its worst electricity crisis in decades, with rolling blackouts of up to six hours a day. Power utility Eskom, which generates over 90% of the country's electricity, has been struggling to meet demand and implementing different stages of outages for weeks.

Most of the output from the utility's aging power plant array is coal-fired, with the facilities in need of maintenance.

“The primary task of the new minister will be to significantly reduce the severity and frequency of load shedding (rolling power cuts) as a matter of urgency,” the South African leader said.

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