Was Minister in the dark about nuclear contract set to benefit Zuma Inc? - Gordon Mackay

DA says son of president's close friend awarded R171 million contract

Was Minister in the dark about nuclear contract set to benefit Zuma Inc?

16 September 2016

The first beneficiary of the proposed nuclear deal appears to be none other than Shantan Reddy, the son of President Zuma’s close friend and ally, Vivian Reddy, with his company having been awarded a R171 million contract for the “Nuclear New Build Programme Management System.”

The awarding of the contract to Reddy’s company is highly irregular considering that both the Minister of Energy and the Deputy President have been at pains to assure South Africans that no deal has been concluded.

If there is in fact no nuclear deal yet, why the need to procure a R171 million system to manage it? 

Alarmingly, the contract with Reddy was awarded on the back of an as yet unidentified tender in the Free State and not publically advertised on the Department’s website as is standard practice. That notwithstanding, the deal with Reddy was personally signed off by the Department’s Director-General.

This raises serious questions surrounding the tender process that was followed, not least of which is what knowledge the Minister had of the deal with Reddy.

I will therefore be submitting parliamentary questions to the Minister to ascertain:

1. The reasons for the deviation from the Department’s standard procurement process.

2. The basis on which Reddy’s company, an entity with no experience in the nuclear field, was awarded the contract.

3. Whether the Minister had any involvement in, or knowledge of the contract.

4. Why a contract for the management of the new build programme has been awarded if, by the Minster’s account, no deal has been concluded.

The move is premature at best and once again suggests that protestations by government are a smoke screen to hide the fact that the nuclear new build is a done deal.

Moreover, the development ads to the growing body of evidence suggesting that the primary motivation being Zuma’s pursuit of the ill-advised and unaffordable nuclear deal is to enrich his cronies and fund his patronage network.

The DA has long maintained that the nuclear deal has potential for corruption the likes of which South Africa has never seen. One thing is increasingly clear: the only really beneficiary of the nuclear deal will be Zuma Inc at the expense of an already highly indebted and fragile South African economy.

Issued by Gordon Mackay, DA Shadow Minister of Energy, 16 September 2016