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South Africa's nuclear procurement process stalled indefinitely
by Staff Writers
Cape Town, South Africa (XNA) Apr 07, 2016

File image.

The next phase of South Africa's nuclear procurement process has been stalled indefinitely, Minister of Energy Tina Joemat-Pettersson said on Wednesday. Joemat-Pettersson told Parliament's Energy Portfolio Committee that the deadline was not met in relation to the Request for Proposal (RFP) that was scheduled to be issued on April 1 this year.

She was responding to a question posed by the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) regarding the RFP. The minister said no new date for the issuing of the RFP has been set, signalling that the procurement process is now in limbo.

The DA, which calls for the nuclear program to be abandoned from the outset, has pressing Joemat-Pettersson to suspend the process in the light of a number of procedural irregularities.

The DA insists that the government simply cannot proceed with a nuclear procurement process that is not open, transparent and free from corruption. The South African government reportedly has signed an agreement with the Russian state-owned nuclear corporation, Rosatom, to develop nuclear energy.

This agreement was entered into without the correct process being followed, and raised serious questions relating to potential corruption given the personal involvement of President Jacob Zuma, the DA claims.

"While today's admission is a victory for the people of South Africa who cannot afford to bear the burden of an ill-advised and unaffordable nuclear program, the DA will not rest until the project has been abandoned outright," said DA Shadow Minister of Energy Gordon Mackay.

Late last year, the South African cabinet approved a 9,600 MW nuclear procurement program to augment its erratic power supply.

Several countries, including Russia, France and South Korea, are positioning themselves for winning the South African bid for the program, which could cost as much as 1 trillion rand (about 66 billion U.S. dollars).

The government has been pursuing the nuclear program to make up power shortage, which is expected to stall economic growth.

Source: Xinhua News Agency

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