PetroSA bosses pocketed big bonuses but state-owned entity faces liability of R15 billion

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PetroSA bosses pocketed big bonuses but state-owned entity faces liability of R15 billion

Jan-Jan Joubert | 2017-03-14 14:05:54.0

Minister of Energy Delivers Budget Speech

Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson asked for greater transparency from PetroSA. File photo.

Image by: Gallo Images / Beeld / Denvor de Wee
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Gallo Images

State-owned entity PetroSA faces a liability of around R15‚6 billion‚ but nevertheless paid its top management bonuses of R2‚4 million each‚ parliament heard on Tuesday.

Astounded members of the parliamentary portfolio committee on energy were told these bonuses were not performance linked‚ but were termed “retention bonuses” – as long as one remained in PetroSA’s employ‚ these bonuses are paid out.

More than 200 employees were laid off while management was coining it‚ Inkatha Freedom Party MP Essie Esterhuizen pointed out.

Esterhuizen also said the lack of transparency and accountability was symptomatic of what was wrong with the South African state and the South African economy.

He was not the only MP who raised extreme unhappiness with PetroSA -another in a growing line of failing state enterprises.

MPs gasped audibly when it became clear that no-one was being held accountable for the loss of more than R15 billion.

“Are we being told that more than R15 billion is being lost‚ and there are two golden handshakes and one person being moved to a different position?” asked Democratic Alliance MP Gordon Mackay.

He also claimed that PetroSA was hiding information‚ that it was providing a sanitised version of events and dodging questions.

Mackay pointed out that the PetroSA board had previously misled the portfolio committee on the true reasons for the R15 billion loss‚ blaming everything but their own incompetence and dysfunctionality‚ which now proved to be the reason for the mess.

African National Congress MP and portfolio committee chairman Slovo Majola ordered PetroSA to return to parliament in two weeks with a detailed and practically implementable turnaround plan because it could not keep losing money at the rate taxpayers’ money was being lost‚ impacting on service delivery to poor people.

Majola asked whether there was a future for PetroSA. Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson asked for greater transparency from the company and Esterhuizen said management should pay back their bonuses.

– TMG Digital/The Times



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