Necsa given the boot
The Nuclear Company of South Africa deputation was chased out of parliament by the portfolio committee on energy yesterday as another grim day of hearings on the energy sector came to an early conclusion.
ANC MPs were dismissive of Necsa, which reports to the Department of Energy and monitors South Africa's nuclear capabilities. Necsa has failed to produce an annual report this year and its financial affairs are being investigated by the auditor-general.
In April the Sunday Times carried a report of serious concerns about Necsa which, at the time, disputed the details of the report and said concerns were baseless.
But yesterday, there was no disputing the facts of the matter, and Necsa got short shrift from senior ANC MPs.
"Entities must be prepared when they come to parliament," raged ANC MP Motswaledi Matlala, to the approval of other MPs.
"Necsa has nothing to report on. This is a futile exercise! Leave this honourable room (sic)!
"You request a budget from us and then you act like this!"
So Necsa members had to return to Pretoria in disgrace.
But that was not the only grim news of the day.
Government oil company PetroSA, which falls under the ambit of the Central Energy Fund that also reports to the Department of Energy, was in the dog box as well after posting an annual loss of R14-billion. ANC MPs were united in calling for a forensic audit of PetroSA.
DA MP Gordon Mackay pointed out that PetroSA's liabilities far outweighed its assets so it was not a viable enterprise. ANC MP Tandi Mahambehlala said there were too many managers in acting capacities in the energy sector, likening it to the soap opera Generations.
Deputy energy minister Thembi Majola said Central Energy Fund chairman Sankie Mthembi-Mahanyele's decision to quit had a negative effect on the functioning of the fund's board.
ANC MP and portfolio committee chairman Fikile Majola warned that the Central Energy Fund would have to be restructured in order to perform optimally.
"We cannot just continue as if it is business as usual; R14-billion was lost. Corrective measures must be put in place to prevent a repetition," Majola said.