President Jacob Zuma's new cabinet as announced on 10 May 2009, necessitated the establishment, reorganization, and renaming of some of the national departments to support Ministers in the execution of their mandates. In his statement, the President emphasized the importance of the type of structure that would best serve government's goals. "We wanted a structure that would enable us to achieve visible and tangible socio-economic development within the next five years. It should be a structure which would enable us to effectively implement our policies...", President Zuma said.
This is the approach that has been adopted by the Department of Minerals and Energy in its process of establishing the two departments mandated with the mining, minerals and energy portfolio.
The first ten years of our new democracy have seen us focusing on the introduction of policy and new legislation. The promulgation of the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) in May 2004 and the complementary minerals and petroleum charters is one testimony to that effort. The time has come for us to ensure that policy is effectively implemented..." President Zuma said.
Once again we have finalized yet another significant piece of legislation, namely, the Energy Act, 2008 that was signed into law by the President on 17 November 2009. This piece of legislation focuses amongst others, on ensuring that diverse energy resources are available, in sustainable quantities and at affordable prices in support of economic growth and poverty alleviation. It further provides for energy planning, increased generation and consumption of renewable energies, contingency energy supply, etc.
The re-organisation of the state as announced by the President could not have come at a better time for the implementation of the Energy Act. This has given the newly established Department of Energy an opportunity to focus on energy issues - an opportunity to review its capacity "to effectively implement policy".