IFP Outraged at the Central Energy Fund’s Purchase of SAPREF Refinery

May 27, 2024 | Press Releases

The Inkatha Freedom Party is outraged at the government’s nonchalant announcement that the state-owned Central Energy Fund had concluded the two-year-long discussions to purchase the Sapref refinery from oil majors Shell and BP.

This announcement has surprised our country, especially the local communities surrounding the refinery, as the government has neglected to prioritise the democratic value of transparency and public engagement. This leads one to believe that the only motivation behind this decision is the fact that the nation will be casting their vote on Wednesday and this is the ruling party’s desperate attempt at catching a few last-minute votes.

However, when one carefully considers the facts, this irrational decision holds dire consequences for the environment, especially those Durban south communities located close to the SAPREF refinery, which has managed to breathe a sigh of relief over the past year as the refinery has been closed since March of 2022.

In the past, several independent health studies have detailed that the prevalence of cancer in South Durban’s nine communities next to the refinery was 24 times higher than in other parts of the country. Some environmental organisations have even gone so far as to refer to South Durban as “Cancer Alley” saying there are soaring numbers of cancer cases found in the refinery’s backyard.

Further, a news channel has reported that the purchase price for the refinery was R1. One cannot help but wonder what the catch attached to this R1 deal is or if we are perhaps seeing a repetition of the SAA scenario when it was purchased for R51 by Takatso, but would in actual fact cost taxpayers billions of rands.

As the IFP we cannot idly stand by and watch as the government continue to endanger the lives of our people. We will ensure this issue is tabled, continuously followed up and thoroughly apply pressure for it to be entirely stopped in the 7th Parliament, regardless of who the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy will be.

The Hon. Narend Singh, MP
IFP Chief Whip in Parliament and Member on Environmental Affairs Portfolio
Mobile: 083 788 5954

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