Luvo Makasi. Picture: THE TIMES
Luvo Makasi. Picture: THE TIMES

The Central Energy Fund has removed the remaining two board members of PetroSA and appointed an interim board.

Six board members resigned from the ailing parastatal in June after the fund’s chairman, Luvo Makasi, instructed its members to resign with immediate effect, or submit oral representations at the annual general meeting as to why they should stay.

The Central Energy Fund is PetroSA’s holding company.

In May, Business Day was informed that two members had tendered their resignations.

The two remaining board members, Owen Tobias and William Steenkamp, were not included on the interim board.

PetroSA said on Wednesday the decision to replace the board was the culmination of engagements with all parties concerned. It also took cognisance of the financial stability and strategic direction of the entity.

PETROSA HAS SUFFERED HUGE LOSSES OVER THE PAST THREE YEARS.

The fund’s new board, which was appointed with effect from July 5, are Nhlanhla Gumede as chairman, Leanne Williams, Quentin Mathew, Noto Eister, Puleng Kwele, Boy Manqoba Ngubo, Nomvuselelo Songelwa, Sepheu Simon Masemola and Mthozami Xiphu.

The Central Energy Fund’s board said the new PetroSA team would bring the "relevant industry experience and strategic acumen".

"Their combined experience will further support the strategy to deliver value to the entity’s stakeholders through good governance, operational excellence and continued growth," it said in a statement.

PetroSA has suffered huge losses over the past three years and has a projected loss of R2.2bn for the financial year to March 2017.

This follows its record R14.6bn net operating loss in the 2014-15 financial year.

In June, the PetroSA board made a presentation to the Central Energy Fund in which it said there was no risk that the company was no longer a going concern. It had denied mismanaging the entity.

The board added in its presentation that it had taken several steps to ensure that lessons learnt from the failure of Project Ikhwezi were applied.

In the project gas wells were drilled offshore to provide feedstock for PetroSA’s Mossel Bay gas-to-liquid refinery‚ which had led to the huge losses after limited gas reserves were discovered. Some of the PetroSA board members had resigned before the presentation and some afterwards.

Business Day has reported that the board of the troubled oil company had requested the Central Energy Fund place it under business rescue, raising questions about its status as a going concern. However, this has been denied by PetroSA.

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