State interference led to NECSA resignations: Energy Expert

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Energy Expert, Ted Blom says the recent resignations at the South African State Nuclear Company (NECSA) is as a result of state interference.

He was referring to the resignation of the last remaining board members of the state entity on Wednesday.

In their resignation letters, the board members blame Minister of Energy Gwede Mantashe for not engaging with them and also being unresponsive in matters relating to the entity’s deep financial problems.

NECSA is responsible for the research of energy as well as the processing and storage of nuclear material.

In 2018, four NECSA board members resigned.

NECSA has reportedly been insolvent since 2016 and is asking the government for a R500 million bailout.

Speaking on Morning Live Blom says SOEs are in deep trouble due to political interference.

He says: “Unfortunately it has taken 20 years for the chickens to come home to roost, the rot is sitting all over the show. It’s very plain and clear to the outside eye that the last people qualified to run state-owned entities or any operational stuff is the government. Their agenda is totally different, they don’t look into the long term sustenance of these operations.”

“In a lot of cases it just makes these entities far more vulnerable to looting,” adds Blom.

‘Resuscitate governance’

The Mineral Resources and Energy Department says it had plans to transform the board. In a video on his official twitter page, Minister Gwede Mantashe says they are working on resuscitating governance in entities within the Minerals and Energy Department.

He says NECSA will soon be returned to full functionality. “We are replenishing that board yesterday we were together we were identifying names of people who must go to that board. What we are doing in the department is to resuscitate governance at entities in the department which have collapsed almost in every way so we are rebuilding it.”