DA slams energy minister over PetroSA R14.9bn loss

Cape Town – Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson should return to South Africa immediately to answer for PetroSA’s R14.9bn loss, said the Democratic Alliance (DA) on Thursday.

The scale of the state-owned petroleum company’s loss was made public for the first time in court documents, which reveals what its loss will be when it finalises its accounts for the past financial year, according to a report in the Business Day on Thursday.

"The details of the financial results are contained in an affidavit by company secretary Mokgaetši Sebothoma made in response to an application by chief financial officer Lindiwe Mthimunye-Bakoro to have her suspension, imposed last month, lifted," the Business Day reported.

Pieter van Dalen, the DA’s shadow deputy minister of energy, said he would write to Portfolio Committee on Energy chairperson Fikile Majola to request he summon Joemat-Pettersson to appear before the committee and account for the deplorable state of PetroSA.

Biggest loss incurred by a state-owned company

He said this was the biggest annual loss incurred by any state-owned company. “The embattled entity is also set to miss all but one of its performance targets for the 2014-15 year,” he said.

“The poor financial state of PetroSA has been known for some time now,” he said in a statement. “The DA last month called for the release of PetroSA’s financial statements in order to interrogate the financial chaos at the entity. This call was ignored by PetroSA’s acting CEO Mapula Modipa."

The DA accused Joemat-Pettersson of ignoring PetroSA’s sad state and said she is “jet-setting around the world in her relentless crusade to tie our country to a secretive multi-billion rand nuclear deal”.

The DA said PetroSA has squandered R7.6bn in the last year in terms of wasteful and irregular expenditure. “(That is) a clear illustration of the internal disarray within the entity and its leadership structure,” said Van Dalen.

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