Nuclear deal: Eskom must suspend Request for Proposals – Gordon Mackay

DA says power utility's announcement hat they plan to issue RFP flies in the face of logic and national energy policy

Nuclear deal: Eskom must suspend Request for Proposals

23 November 2016

The DA will be writing to both Minister Joematt-Pettersson and Minister Brown demanding that they halt any attempt by Eskom to proceed with the issuance of the Request For Proposal (RFP) for nuclear until such a time as the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and the Integrated Energy Plan (IEP) – the pillars of South Africa’s energy policy – have passed public consultation and have been adopted by Parliament.

Eskom’s announcement today that they plan to issue the RFP by the end of the month flies in the face of logic and national energy policy – detailed and made public by the Department of Energy yesterday in drafts of the IRP and IEP. The plans together provide a legal and statutory framework for determining energy policy to 2050.

Although not without fault, the IRP 2016 has been extensively modelled and clearly indicates that an urgent acquisition of an additional nuclear base load capacity of 9,6GW is neither urgent or necessary. The base case scenario – which assesses energy demand for the period 2050 indicates that additional nuclear base load power will only be required by the mid-2030s meaning procurement should only commence in the early 2020s.

Given this extended timeline, it is grossly premature and potentially irrational for Eskom and master of the dark arts – Mr Matshele Koko, Eskom spin doctor in Chief – to call fall the finalisation and issuance of the RFP by the end of the month.

An RFP, issued on the basis of an outdated and legally dubious Section 34 Ministerial determination, itself based on the much maligned and now out of date IRP 2010, would be subject to legal challenge court of law.

It is clear Eskom would struggle to demonstrate that its decision to procure additional nuclear capacity contrary to national energy policy contained in the IRP 2016, is rotational or justifiable. The Constitutional Court has ruled that for State action to be determined valid it must pass the test of rationality.

It is glaringly obvious that the rush to conclude the nuclear deal is only rational for those who stand to loot the state coffers ie. President Zuma and his Gupta cronies.

The RFP for the deal must be halted in the interest of the many South Africans who will suffer as this deal will ultimately destroy our already ailing economy.

Issued by Gordon Mackay, DA Shadow Minister of Energy, 23 November 2016