Strategic Fuel Fund CEO resigns after Chevron bid

Johannesburg - The heads of South Africa's state-owned Strategic Fuel Fund resigned on Friday, a day after the Department of Energy said it would investigate the fund's unauthorised bid to buy Chevron's assets in the country.

The fund, which reports to the energy department, said on Wednesday it had applied to buy a 75% stake in Chevron's refinery and such downstream assets as retail service stations.

But such a bid needed the energy minister's consent, which the fund had neither sought nor obtained, the energy department said.

The Central Energy Fund, which the strategic fund is part of, said it accepted the resignations of the fund's chairperson Riaz Jawoodien and the acting chief executive Sibusiso Gamede.

"The Group regrets the perceived misalignment with the Minister of Energy and the Department of Energy," the statement from the Central Energy Fund. It said its board "regrets the impact of this occurrence to Chevron SA, who are a valued industry partner."

The Central Energy Fund is a holding company that owns several public energy companies and promotes renewable energy and energy efficiency. The Strategic Fuel Fund manages crude oil infrastructure and crude oil stocks and provides oil pollution control services.

Chevron, which has operated in South Africa for more than a century, said in January it would sell the 75% stake in its business in the country after making similar sales in Nigeria because of falling oil prices.

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