The official opposition party of South Africa says the Minister of Energy’s announcement concerning the nuclear deal “opens a door for Zuma’s enrichment”.
Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson announced that Eskom will be the designated procuring agent for the nuclear new build.
DA described the move as “nothing short of an elaborate sleight of hand aimed at muddying the water and subverting effective parliamentary oversight over the R1 trillion nuclear deal.”
The party pointed out that in designating Eskom as the procuring agent for the new nuclear build, the under-listed must be considered:
- The tender will be subject to Eskom’s board tender committee, the very same tender committee found to be corrupt by the Supreme Court of Appeal.
- The tender will be subject to internal Eskom processes, effectively shielding the nuclear deal from direct parliamentary oversight.
- A nuclear deal not directly subject to parliamentary oversight will cost more and be subject to greater levels of corruption, in the same way as Kusile and Medupi have been with regard to their association with Hitachi.
- While tax payers will not be directly liable for the build costs of the new build program – like the costs of Kusile and Medupi – they will be passed onto consumers via higher electricity prices. Higher energy costs will kill economic growth and jobs.
With the forgoing, the party argued that the Minister has created greater uncertainty instead of providing the much-needed clarity and assurance.
The Minister “has all but ensured that Zuma and his cronies will enrich themselves at South Africa’s expense,” DA proclaimed.
Yesterday, Minister Joemat-Pettersson informed parliament’s portfolio committee on energy that a recommendation would soon be made to Cabinet for Eskom to be designated as the procuring agent for the nuclear new build.
She argued that her ministry does not have the skills to procure nuclear. “We will continue to be policy-setting department and the policy coordinator of the programme,” she stated.