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South Africa might hand responsibility for nuclear project over to Eskom

flag-S.AfricaEskom may take charge of SA’s nuclear power build, IOL 29 September 2016, Emsie Ferreira  Cape Town – Government will not be issuing a call for proposals for its nuclear power expansion programme to allow for more time for consultations, which could mean shifting responsibility for the project from the department of energy to Eskom, Presidency Minister Jeff Radebe confirmed on Thursday……..

Radebe was asked about conflicting statements from Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson and her science and technology counterpart, Naledi Pandor, as to whether the request for proposals from prospective partners would still proceed as planned on Friday.

Pandor this week indicated it would not, contradicting the energy minister.

But Radebe confirmed that government could not invite proposals while an integrated resource plan had not been finalised, and that Pandor had been right in saying Cabinet’s economic cluster first needed to meet to do so.

Eskom chief executive officer Brian Molefe last week told MPs and the media that concerns about whether the country could afford procuring the capacity to add 9,600 megawatt of nuclear energy to the grid were overwrought.

He said given the roughly 80-year lifespan of nuclear plants, the programme would pay for itself over those decades. Molefe was adamant that renewable energy could not be considered a viable alternative as it was not sufficiently reliable.

And earlier this week, Eskom’s head of generation Matshela Koko suggested that the nuclear utility could pay for the nuclear build programme because it would have accumulate cash reserves of R150 billion over the next decade.

The Democratic Alliance said on Thursday that allowing Eskom to lead the process would mean it being less open to parliamentary scrutiny, and President Jacob Zuma having greater control over the 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,” DA energy spokesman Gordon Mackay said. http://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/eskom-may-take-charge-of-sas-nuclear-power-build-2074416

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September 30, 2016 - Posted by | politics, South Africa

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