Parliament Approves R2.1m Payment For Former Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson

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Former Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson is apparently going to have a very merry Christmas this year as she would be receiving an approved “once-off gratuity” bonus of more than R2-million.

The eye-watering payment, as gathered, has since been cleared by National Treasury but needs Parliamentary approval.

Documents uncovered by DA MP Gavin Davis indicated the bonus was approved as part of Finance department’s adjusted budget and that it was diverted from funding earmarked for a national solar water heater project.

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Objecting the payment, DA’s Davis expressed disappointment with the move, questioning why the former minister should be rewarded since the yet-to-be-explained sale of South Africa’s strategic oil reserves at a heavily discounted price in December 2015 happened on her watch.

“Instead of holding her accountable for her actions, this adjusted budget proposes giving the former minister an R2.1 million reward in the form of a ‘once-off gratuity’. To make matters worse, the R2.1 million is to be deducted from a renewable energy project.

“Why should we give minister Joemat-Pettersson an R2.1 million golden handshake when she personally authorized the theft of our oil reserves at a cost of R2 billion to our economy?” Davis asked.

Joemat-Petterson was South Africa’s energy minister until March 31 this year when she was removed during President Jacob Zuma’s Cabinet reshuffle.

The former minister is seen as the brain behind the unexplained sale of South Africa’s strategic oil reserves at a heavily discounted price in December 2015.

She keeps denying that the transaction, which happened without the required approval from National Treasury, had been a sale. Rather, she claimed that it was a rotation of unsuitable oil stock instead. But from what we gathered, Joemat-Petterson’s successor, Mmamoloko Kubayi, recently confirmed that the reserves had in fact been sold.

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Former minister Joemat-Petterson is the chairwoman of the Northern Cape Province Rehabilitation Trust and of the SA Communist Party in the Northern Cape. She also chairs the ANC Women’s League in the Northern Cape and is a trustee of the Mosiuoa Lekota children’s Fund.