Dept won't explain Energy Minister’s letter to CEF board

The Energy Ministry says the board has not been suspended but merely received letters from Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi.

Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi visits the Korean exhibition stand while attending the AtomExpo nuclear conference in Moscow, Russia. Picture: @Energy_ZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The Energy Ministry won’t say why Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi has written to the Central Energy Fund (CEF) board, expressing concerns about the role being played by its directors.

There's also no confirmation about whether the letters are related to the secret sell-off of 10 billion barrels of the strategic fuel fund as oil prices were hitting record lows.

On Tuesday, Business Day said that the board had been suspended but the ministry says this is not the case.

The Energy Ministry says the board has not been suspended but merely received letters from the minister.

However, the ministry’s Nomvula Khalo won’t say what those letters are about.

“It’s between the minister and the board. Remember the minister is a shareholder of Central Energy Fund, so it’s between employer and employee.”

Khalo says this is not the right time for the ministry to say why these letters of concern have been sent to the CEF board.

“They have to discuss what the minister’s concerns are, after that they will all come out and respond to the public.”

The board was appointed in December last year a full twelve months after the secret sell-off of the strategic fuel fund in a deal that would have netted the buyers billions of rand.

The Energy Minister at the time, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, had denied that it was a sale and said the oil was simply rotated.

The board’s chairperson Luvo Makati has also been accused of giving instructions to senior water affairs ministry officials based on his relationship with Water Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)