R15bn in the hole PetroSA given two weeks to come up with rescue plan
Jan-Jan Joubert | 2017-03-14 15:11:30.0
Chairman of the portfolio committee on energy‚ Fikile Majola. File photo.
Image by: Mohau Mofokeng
MPs have given the embattled state-owned petroleum firm‚ PetroSA‚ two weeks to come with a plan to save the company from bankruptcy.
ANC MP and chairman of the portfolio committee on energy‚ Fikile Majola‚ on Monday lashed out at executives from the troubled energy utility and ordered them to return to parliament in a fortnight with detailed and practical plan to return PetroSA to the black.
Majola said the company‚ which has been struggling to recover from its financial woes since it reported a R15-billion loss in 2016‚ said the company could no longer be allowed to continue to waste taxpayer’s money.
He questioned whether PetroSA could still continue existing as a going concern.
MPs also expressed unhappiness about PetroSA senior executives pocketing bonuses of up to R2‚4 million each while it was bleeding money and had retrenched more than 200 workers.
Majola called for energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson to be more transparent about the financial status of PetroSA.
IFP MP Essie Esterhuizen called for the huge bonuses to be paid back.
Petro SA has consistently claimed that the bonuses had not been company performance based but were paid as part of its skills rentention scheme.
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 DA MP Gordon Mackay.
He also claimed 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 proves to be the reason for the huge mess.
– TMG Digital/The Times