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Radebe: No irregularities with proposed $1bn South Sudan oil deal

According to a report, the deal had raised eyebrows in government circles and could land Energy Minister Jeff Radebe in trouble.

Energy Minister Jeff Radebe. Picture: GCIS

PRETORIA - Energy Minister Jeff Radebe has rejected allegations of irregularities in relation to a proposed $1 billion oil deal with South Sudan.

The Sunday Times reported last weekend that the deal had raised eyebrows in government circles and could land Radebe in trouble.

It was further claimed that the so-called mystery deal has already cost the government about R20 million in travel costs.

Radebe denied the allegations at a briefing in Pretoria on Thursday.

Radebe says that the Central Energy Fund’s engagement with their counterparts in South Sudan is no secret, and was formalised by a memorandum of understanding, signed publicly late in 2018.

He says that National Treasury has been kept abreast of all developments related to the project.

Radebe says South Africa is not the only country which has shown interest in that country’s oil reserves, such as BRICS partners Russia, China and India.

But he hastens to add that the project is still at a feasibility stage, with several assessments still to be made.

The minister rejects the claim that R20 million has been spent on travel costs, saying that only R2.2 million has been incurred.

Radebe says the information provided to the media is malicious and intended to distract the department from this important project.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)