Nuke RFP delayed in order to give Eskom greater say - Gordon Mackay

DA MP says Zuma administration trying to side-line parliamentary oversight

Nuke RFP delayed in order to give Eskom greater say & avoid parliamentary scrutiny 

29 September 2016

At a cabinet briefing today, Minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe, confirmed that it was highly unlikely that the nuclear RFP would be issued tomorrow as announced by the Minister of Energy, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, three weeks ago in Parliament. 

Minister Radebe also suggested that the delay in issuing the RFP is largely due to a decision by cabinet to strip the Department of Energy of its role as government’s designated procurement agent in favour of Eskom.

This must be seen for what it is – a blatant attempt by the Zuma administration to:

- side-line parliamentary oversight of the nuclear new build programme; 

- block public debate on the need for additional nuclear capacity; 

- create a veil of secrecy around the procurement process which would now be subject to internal Eskom processes and procedures;

- give President Jacob Zuma greater control of the nuclear procurement process.

Designating Eskom as the procuring agent of the state will fundamentally limit the role and capacity of Parliament to oversee the nuclear deal and, in doing so, increase the potential of corruption surrounding the trillion rand deal. 

The DA rejects any attempt to designate Eskom, headed by CEO and Zupta buddy, Brian Molefe, as the procuring agent for nuclear. Eskom has proven with Medupi and Kusile that it is unfit to manage mega-projects. It has also proven that its governance procedures are lax and the Supreme Court of Appeal has found its Board Tender Committee to be corrupt. 

The DA is further concerned that the nuclear new build programme will further be subject to undue influence by the President, who is the Chair of the SOE Co-ordinating Committee. 

We will use every mechanism available to us to ensure that this deal – which we do not need and cannot afford – is not pushed through without proper parliamentary oversight and scrutiny. 

Statement issued by Gordon Mackay MP, DA Shadow Minister of Energy, 29 September 2016