The Select Committee on Economic and Business Development has said there is an urgent need for the Central Energy Fund (CEF) to stabilise, so that it can make a meaningful contribution in the energy sector and the economy in general.
“This is one entity where we cannot afford to have perpetual instability, resulting in huge loses in the fiscus. The CEF is crucial if the country is to have an energy sector that benefits South Africans and plays its role in the economy,” the acting Chairperson of the committee, Mr Eddie Makue, said.
The CEF was in Parliament to brief the committee on its governance challenges, revealing that it has liability issues dating back five years. The entity also highlighted challenges in getting programmes approved and also with PetroSA.
Mr Makue called for the CEF to set time frames to plans to address challenges, which must happen urgently. “It would be important to present these intervention plans to the board and then present it to the committee. We want to see the social impact the entity is having on the ground. We serve the people and [so] you should not obsess only about the profit margins.”
Clarity in shale gas exploration is important, as is working with other African countries on the price of fuel, Mr Makue said. The Department of Energy will be invited to present answers to policy-related queries raised by committee members along with a review of the role of the entity.
Mr Makue also urged committee members to consider how the committee can hold the 31 entities reporting to it effectively accountable, and how to identify governance failures much earlier.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.