The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Energy has told PetroSA to put its house in order – or it might not survive.

The committee met with the Department of Energy (DoE) and the Central Energy Fund (CEF) at PetroSA’s head office yesterday, to be briefed on the alignment of their key strategic priorities.

Among the key points of concern are recent media reports about the executives that had been placed on suspension at PetroSA, and the committee questioned the current status of PetroSA CEO, Nosizwe Nokwe-Macamo, and two
other senior executives.

“We as the committee register our concern regarding the suspension of the three top executives. The oil company plays a pivotal role in the energy sector of the country and the supply of petrochemical products to South African oil companies,” says committee chairperson Fikile Majola. He adds that the stability and governance of the oil company are critical.

Members of the committee say PetroSA is on the verge of collapse and that the board should take responsibility, possible even resigning, rather than simply suspending executives.

Majola says that, based on the context as to what has happened and the presentation by CEF, it was important to wait for up to six months to determine if the business would survive.

The committee aims to engage the minister and the PetroSA board to get a comprehensive briefing about the suspensions and the investigation that would be conducted into the executives that have been suspended. “As the oversight body, it is important to be briefed on the latest developments on what is happening at the state-owned oil company and not to be informed through media reports,” says Majola.

Meanwhile, the committee welcomed the turnaround strategy presented by CEF to improve the current governance and financial situation of PetroSA. It feels that PetroSA is in need of and overhaul and the immediate implementation of the turnaround strategy is critical.

The committee also expressed concern about the equal powers that the board of PetroSA in comparison to CEF, believing that CEF as the holding company should have the upper hand when it came to PetroSA.