SA Nuclear Deal A Bad Idea As Eskom Has Been Compromised


The recently released state capture report did not just reveal Zuma’s wrong doings, it also stands as aproof that the long proposed SA nuclear deal cannot push through as the state-owned power utility, Eskom lies in the fore front of the Gupta capture.

The report released on the later hours of Wednesday detailed multiple conflicts of interest of six members of the Eskom board. The report also demonstrates that SA’s state-owned entities fall short of their constitutional obligations in terms of oversight.

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The finance minister, Pravin Gordhan confirmed, during his mid-term financial budget, that the SA nuclear deal would push through and Eskom will spearhead the dealing of the project as a way to allay fear over the incapability of the state to fund the project.

Minister Gordhan stated this despite strong disapproval from South Africans following the economic conditions of the country and the fear that the project will further push the state into the unsaving hands of corrupt private individuals, like the Guptas.

Investigations by the former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela seems to prove this fact as she revealed in her report that the state power utility has dealings with the influential family.

Among all the most pertinent findings by the Public Protector’s report, Eskom was implicated in the following ways:

  • That between the period 2 August 2015 and 22 March 2016, Eskom CEO Brain Molefe has called Mr. Ajay Gupta a total of 44 times and Mr. Ajay Gupta has called Mr. Molefe a total of 14 times;
  • That the Eskom board was improperly appointed;
  • That Eskom’s awarding of the coal contract to Tegeta was irregular;
  • That Zuma and the Executive failed to take action to verify Ms. Mentor’s allegations, as well as Mr. Maseka’s allegations, as well as regarding the alleged cozy relationship between Brian Molefe and the Guptas; among others.

The controversy over the SA nuclear deal stands as the latest twist in South Africa’s controversial efforts to expand its nuclear power capability by commissioning up to 9.6GW of energy from six nuclear power stations.

The cabinet was to consider a proposal that a mooted nuclear power deal for the country be financed through the state-owned power utility, Eskom even as analysts view the statements that Eskom can “finance nuclear on its own”, or absorb the risks from an incorrect decision, as misleading.

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Analysts, therefore, suggest to the cabinet to defer further consideration of the programme for at least two years and that Eskom should account to Parliament on discrepancies in its statements about its financial situation.