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Minister: SA reviewing petrol liberalisation

Recent global events, including high costs of imported oil, have necessitated a review of South Africa’s planned liberalisation of the petroleum sector, outgoing Minister of Minerals and Energy Lindiwe Hendricks said on Thursday.

In her first and last Budget vote of her portfolio, the minister — who will move to Water Affairs and Forestry within days — said that the impact of the increases could result in the slowing down of global economic growth, with a potential consequent negative impact on the South Africa economy.

Hendricks said it was important — in the light of government’s Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative of South Africa — to review “some of the assumptions” about the supply of energy for South Africa.

This included “looking at” the strategic stocks policy for oil and petroleum products. Noting that the country experienced fuel shortages in certain areas late last year, indications were that these were largely caused by bottlenecks in the supply, transportation and distribution of finished products to the market.

She noted that the Moerane investigation into the supply problem was expected to complete its work in July this year.

Hendricks, who noted that she had been in the job just 10 months, will be replaced by outgoing Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry, Buyelwa Sonjica. — I-Net Bridge

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Donwald Pressly
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