Mbabane – The country’s highest Government executive, the Cabinet, has lost yet another member in Minister of Natural Resources, Peter Bhembe.
Bhembe passed on yesterday while admitted at a South African Health facility and his death comes hardly a year after two Ministers succumbed to COVID-19 last year.
These are former Minister of Labour and Social Security Makhosi Vilakati and former Minister of Public Service Christian Ntshangase.
Former Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini was the first member of the current Cabinet to succumbed to COVID-19 in December 2020.
According to a statement released by the country’s Acting Prime Minister Themba Masuku on behalf of Government, Bhembe passed away last night in South Africa where he had been undergoing specialised treatment.
“Further details of his funeral arrangements will be shared in due course,” read the statement.
Bhembe’s Personal Assistant (PA) Nomcebo Dlamini, when requested to refer this publication to the deceased’s family members, stated that it could not be possible as every comment regarding the death of Bhembe had been referred to Government.
It was in 2018 that His Majesty King Mswati III appointed Bhembe as a cabinet minister in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy but before that, Bhembe joined Eswatini Water Service Corporation (EWSC) as Managing Director in 1995.
He was the executive member of the EWSC Board. Previously he was the Engineering Manager at Eswatini Breweries.
Bhembe has also held the position of Engineering Manager at GENCO (South Africa) and Emaswati Coal Mine (Eswatini). He was a member of: the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE); the International Water Association (IWA) and the IWA Strategic Council.
One of the late minister’s notable implementations in the ministry was the commencement and implementation of the Petroleum Act No. 18, 2020 which came into effect on February 1, 2021.
The Act consolidates and updates all existing pieces of legislation governing the petroleum sector to ensure that the sector is well regulated.
It creates a holistic regulatory framework for the petroleum sector in the entire value chain from the upstream activities of exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas, midstream activities of refinery development, bulk storage and pipeline transportation to the downstream activities of wholesaling and distribution of petroleum products.