Minister of Mining and Energy Gwede Mantashe. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Minister of Mining and Energy Gwede Mantashe. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Mineral Resources entities in litigation amounting to R50m

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Apr 7, 2021

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Cape Town - Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has revealed that entities in his department are facing a slew of litigation amounting to R50.1 million.

Mantashe said the five entities are facing a total 23 court cases, which are at various stages of litigation.

He made public the details of litigation and costs when he was responding in writing to parliamentary questions from EFF MP Phiwaba Madokwe.

Madokwe said the departmental entities were stuck in litigation that was started by persons who were no longer in the department and have never been held accountable.

She enquired about the breakdown of all legal matters against the various entities of the department and the cost to the taxpayer in each, among others.

In his response, Mantashe said the Central Energy Fund (CEF) and its subsidiaries faced eight court cases, costing the taxpayer R30 842 163.39.

He also said the National Electricity Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) was facing five court cases, at a cost of R16 450 000.

The Mine, Health and Safety Council was saddled with seven cases amounting to R2 282 482.62, the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (Necsa) R352 486.14 and the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) R253 998.25.

Mantashe said the CEF and the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF) made an application for a declaratory order declaring the sale of strategic stock invalid.

The amount involved in this litigation is R11 922 752.15.

He also said there was judgment pending in an R11 462 280.93 damages claim by PetroSA against Odfjell for the pipeline damages.

PetroSA has also instituted liquidation proceedings against Two Oceans for failing to honour payments for product sold. The matter costs R1 457 266.26 to the taxpayers.

Mantashe said in another matter Krone was suing SFF for payment allegedly due to them.

“Krone was required to install a metering system which was aimed at improving accuracy levels of measuring of oil volumes. SFF is withholding payment on the grounds of non-performance under the contract,” he said, adding that the amount involved totalled R4 500 685.00.

Regarding Nersa, the minister said it was involved in five judicial review cases.

The litigation Nersa was involved in included the judicial review arising from its decision not to amend or revoke the distribution licence of Maluti-a-Phofung municipality and its decision not to approve some of the tariffs of the Drakenstein Local Municipality during 2019/20 because of the impact that it would have had on customers.

Mantashe said the Mine, Health and Safety Council was engaged in six labour-related litigation involving a cost of R1 276 006 to the taxpayers and there was an investigation into allegations of financial misconduct involving a cost of R1 006 475 to the taxpayer.

He also said Necsa has been ordered to pay the legal cost of former chief legal adviser Vusi Malebana, who lodged an urgent application to set aside his suspension and stopped the disciplinary proceedings in the Labour Court in August 2019.

“The bill of costs as per the Taxing Master certificate was R352 486.14 which Necsa honoured in full in January 2021.”

However, Mantashe said that following the court interdict Malebana was subjected to a disciplinary hearing and eventually dismissed.

“He took the matter to the CCMA whereby the CCMA ordered that his dismissal was procedurally and substantively unfair and awarded six months’ compensation amounting to R679 444.86.”

The minister added that SANEDI was opposing a labour matter and this cost R253 998.25 to the taxpayer.

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