South African oil firms have received a strong message from government officials: diversify your shareholder base or risk a shut down.
A recent audit of the Liquid Fuels Charter, a document drafted in 2000 and establishes guidelines for the diversification of the oil sector, shows that the nation’s major firms are woefully behind their goal ratio of 25 percent Black ownership overall and that compliance with the Charter is lagging. If the firms don’t shape up, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters warns that they face the loss of licenses or having restrictions imposed on exports. TheTimes Live reports:
"We are disappointed that this compliance audit reveals that over these 10 years under scrutiny, overall compliance stands at a mere 48 percent," Peters told reporters in Midrand.
"On ownership, the finding concludes that the average effective narrow-based black shareholding is 18.91 percent, instead of the 25 percent.
"Out of this 18.91 percent, representation for black women stands at a meager 6.72 percent, while only one oil company, Total South Africa, has fully complied with the obligation for ownership by black shareholders."
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(Photo: REUTERS/Andrew Winning)