The Energy Department has left Members of Parliament (MPs) seething after officials failed to turn up in Parliament on Tuesday morning to outline government’s plan to mitigate increases in fuel prices.
While Minister Jeff Radebe sent an apology, neither his deputy nor department officials turned up.
Parliament’s committee on Energy says this is unacceptable and disgraceful, given that it’s been waiting patiently for weeks for Radebe to make a much-anticipated statement about the crippling hikes.
Ordinary South Africans have been buckling under the pressure of monthly fuel hikes since the start of the year.
MPs say that Radebe has been promising to speak on the issue since early July.
While he’s attending a SADC summit in Windhoek, committee chairperson Fikile Majola says the department’s non-attendance is unexplained.
“For all of them not to be here. That’s a boycott.”
The IFP’s Jan Esterhuizen says the department has missed a crucial opportunity to communicate with South Africans.
“The fuel levy has gone up 165% since 2008. There’s a lot of things we need to discuss.”
Radebe will be expected to turn up next week or face a summons from Parliament.