PARLIAMENT – Better transparency at the Central Energy Fund (CEF) and the continued pursuit of nuclear energy.
These are some of the commitments made by Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi, during her maiden budget speech for the 2017/2018 financial year in Parliament this morning. The Department’s budget for the year is R8.1 billion.
She said the Central Energy Fund (CEF), which is the custodian of PetroSA, will undergo rigorous restructuring to ensure more transparency and better accountability. It comes after it was revealed earlier this year, that PetroSA had sold off key oil reserves in December 2015, and that it was not a “rotation of stock”, as former energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson told MPs.
PetroSA has also asked to be placed under business rescue after suffering huge financial losses over the last three years.
Kubayi says in order to improve governance and accountability by the subsidiaries within the CEF, the department will in coming months restructure of the CEF group and create a model that makes it easy for accountability and ensures the entity operates efficiently and in a professional manner.
“As part of the restructuring, the office of government’s Independent Power Producer (IPP) programme will also resort under the CEF,” Kubayi said.
She reiterated that the IPP programme remains a critical part of South Africa’s energy mix, but added that government needs to look at how best to assist small and medium enterprises interested in participating in the programme.
South Africa’s Integrated Energy Plan and Integrated Resource Plan will be finalised in the current financial year, Kubayi said. “These energy plans will outline how we intend to meet our energy policy objectives, including to increasing energy access, energy efficiency, localisation and skills development and increase energy security, diversify our energy mix, reduce water usage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
The Energy Minister repeated her previous statements that government will continue with its intention to pursue a nuclear build programme, albeit in a transparent manner.
“Following the court judgment and our decision not to appeal the judgment, we will proceed with the signing of the new intergovernmental agreements with the five countries and submit to Parliament within reasonable time,” she said.
“We will review all the determinations to ensure compliance with the judgment. We continue to reiterate our commitment to an open dialogue about nuclear as well as demonstrating transparency and accountability during the process.”