The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) has criticized PetroSA for its plan to retrench more workers amid its ongoing financial meltdown.

PetroSA is a state-owned oil company in which the Central Energy Fund, which regulates fuel prices in the country, is the major shareholder.

The state-owned company produces fuel from gas which it extracts mainly off the coast of Mossel Bay.

It last announced a profit almost a decade ago and blames its financial woes on low gas reserves in its offshore gas fields.

But the company has been mired in allegations of corruption as well and the Central Energy Fund dissolved its board in May last year.

Now, SAFTU says workers have been served with a notice to retrench 850 employees by the end of this month. Trevor Shaku is the Spokesperson for the South African Federation of Trade Unions.

” Though PetroSA management cites the depletion of gas reserves and economic issues. Its premise is not adequately substantiated. For instance, the public must know if the depletion of gas reserves is the only reason the company is operating at a loss which caused its operational expenses to exceed its revenue.

“To imply that such economic losses are simply a result of depleting gas reserves would be plainly false. The devastating graft that engulfed the public sector and in particular SOEs is partly responsible for the collapse of PetroSA.”