South Africa’s state oil company PetroSA suspended three top executives over declining revenues, poor investments and a failed bid to enter the fuel retail market, the Business Newspaper reported on Thursday.
The leadership uncertainty comes after PetroSA reported a loss of 1.2 billion rand ($99.7 million) in its 2013/14 financial year. It has had to devalue production and exploration assets to the tune of 3.4 billion rand after delays in one of its major drilling operations and is expected to reduce its workforce by about 40 percent to cut costs.
The newspaper said that CEO Nosizwe Nokwe-Macamo, finance chief Lindiwe Mthimunye-Bakoro and acting vice-president of upstream operations Andrew Dippenaar will be placed on “gardening leave” pending an investigation.
“In a letter sent to the three PetroSA executives, the board said the forced leave related to their handling of key initiatives,” Business Day reported.
PetroSA spokesman Thabo Mabaso referred queries to Zama Luthuli, who was not immediately available.
The executives could not be reached by Reuters for comment.
PetroSA, which operates the world’s third-largest gas-to-liquid refinery at Mossel Bay, sells petrochemical products to South Africas major oil companies and also exports to international markets.