THE GSB's Associate Professor Anton Eberhard has been appointed by Minister of Minerals and Energy, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, to serve on an empowerment evaluation committee for the petroleum industry.
Eberhard will serve alongside committee chair Almorie Maule, former CEO of Engen, and other senior members of the industry, including the Development Corporation of South Africa. The committee will advise the minister on black economic empowerment issues within the industry, specifically around targets set by the 1998 White Paper on energy policy that specified that black companies have at least a 25% share of ownership and control in the sector. It will also counsel Mlambo-Ngcuka on individual transactions, as she is regularly approached by companies about prospective deals.
According to Eberhard, the petroleum industry, which boasts an annual turnover of around R40-billion, is leading the way on equity issues, largely thanks to the minister's efforts. Following on a 2000 charter in which a number of companies committed themselves to the White Paper's targets, there have of late been a series of big deals that have benefited black companies, he says.
Having worked in the energy sector for the past 20 years or so, Eberhard is looking forward to making a further contribution to the economic transformation of the industry, he observes. This appointment complements other work he is doing on the restructuring and regulation of the large infrastructure industries.