The Democratic Alliance (DA) says that government’s nuclear procurement process has been stalled indefinitely.
The DA cited confirmation from Minister of Energy, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, in the Energy Portfolio Committee, that the next phase of the nuclear procurement process has been put on ice.
“The Minister’s admission came in response to a question I posed in committee relating to the Request for Proposal (RFP) that was scheduled to be issued on 1 April,” said DA Shadow Minister of Energy, Gordon Mackay.
“Minister Joemat-Pettersson informed the committee that that 1 April deadline was not met and that no new date for the issuing of the RFP has been set, signalling that the procurement process is now in limbo.”
The DA said it has opposed the nuke deal since it was first revealed that the South African government, under the direct leadership of President Zuma, had signed an agreement with the Russian state-owned nuclear corporation, Rosatom.
“This agreement was entered into without the correct process being followed and raised serious questions relating to potential corruption given the personal involvement of the President.
“Further questions were raised after the purchase of Shiva Uranium by the Guptas, suggesting that the nuclear deal is a project of state capture for the personal benefit of a connected few and opens the door for corruption of the highest order,” Mackay said.
The government aims to proceed with the procurement of 9,600 MW of additional nuclear capacity from Rosatom.
Economists have said that South Africa cannot afford to pay for such a deal, estimated at R1 trillion, although Joemat-Pettersson has rejected the cost without providing any figures of her own.
The minister has insisted that South Africa needs to move away from its heavy and costly reliance on coal energy.
“We’ll start with the procurement quite soon,” Joemat-Pettersson said in March.
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