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'Foreign firms paid over $280m for SA's strategic oil stock'

Energy Minister David Mahlobo says the money has not been paid into the Central Energy Fund.

FILE: Energy Minister David Mahlobo. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Energy Minister David Mahlobo has revealed that foreign firms paid just over $280 million for 10 million barrels of the country’s strategic oil stock.

The Strategic Fuel Fund’s decision to sell the crude is currently under investigation.

Mahlobo was asked about the scandal while answering questions in the National Council of Provinces on Tuesday afternoon.

Former Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson claimed there was no sale, just a rotation; then her replacement Mmamoloko Kubayi confirmed the sale in December 2015 of 10 million barrels of strategic oil stock.

Now new Energy Minister Mahlobo has revealed what it sold for: “The money that was received as proceeds from the sale of strategic crude oil reserves was $280,756,000.00.”

Mahlobo says the money has not been paid into the Central Energy Fund.

“As the whole transaction is subject to an ongoing investigation the money is ring-fenced in a foreign currency account awaiting the outcome of this investigation.”

He says he’s already had a preliminary report from the Central Energy Fund’s board and investigators and expects a final report in November.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)