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Nuclear corruption: former South African government planned to conceal costs on nuclear plan

State was willing to lie to SA over costs of Zuma’s nuclear plan, City Press News 24 2018-10-08 The state was prepared to lie to South Africans over the estimated costs of former president Jacob Zuma’s nuclear plan.

Cabinet also decided to go ahead with the nuclear power deal on the grounds of hopelessly incorrect and over optimistic “facts” that the energy department presented to Cabinet – such as an assumption that the exchange rate would stay at R10 a dollar.

A top secret Cabinet notice and accompanying memorandum – which have now been declassified and were handed to the state capture commission last week, revealed for the first time how close South Africa was on the edge of an economic crisis, and how desperate Zuma and his cronies were to push through the nuclear power deal.

Last week, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene told the commission investigating the extent of state capture how Zuma chastised him because he wasn’t making quick enough progress over the nuclear deal.

During a state visit to Russia in July 2015, then minister of energy Tina Joemat-Pettersson wanted Nene to sign a one-page agreement.

It was a letter addressed to the Russian authorities, Nene said, adding that he couldn’t remember the precise details of the letter but he remembered that it effectively gave a guarantee to the Russian authorities over the nuclear programme, if they agreed to finance it.

Nene refused to sign it because it would have been catastrophic for the country, he said.

Zuma wasn’t impressed, because he wanted to be able to present something to President Vladimir Putin when they met.

A few months later, Joemat-Pettersson’s department was still forging ahead with the project, despite warnings from Treasury.

On December 9 2015, the day Cabinet approved the nuclear deal, Nene recalled been summoned into a meeting with then president Zuma. It lasted less than five minutes and he was informed that he was being removed from his role as finance minister.

He was replaced by Des van Rooyen, which set off a spiral of uncertainty for the markets.

The secret Cabinet notice showed that the government wanted to downplay the cost implications of the deal. Prices should not be communicated prior to the procurement process being completed, it said, and if any communication was to be done around the costs of the programme, it was decided to talk about the low end of the range……..

The numbers show that nuclear would have ruined South Africa

A nuclear engineer from a large Western nuclear power company, who also tendered for the project, told Rapport that the numbers were completely unrealistic.

The number of $2500 a kilowatt was from nuclear power stations being built in Asia – mainly China and Korea. It would be unrealistic to think that it would be possible to build a nuclear power station in South Africa at such a low price, he said.

“In South Africa, if everything goes according to plan, you could bank on it costing about $5000 per kilowatt,” he said.

Both the engineer and Serfontein said that, under the best circumstances, the project would cost more than R1 trillion.

If Cabinet had gone ahead with this binding agreement, it would have ruined South Africa financially, they both said………

At that time it was widely known that the Russian state-owned nuclear power company, Rosatom, would be the preferred bidder because Joemat-Pettersson had signed a framework agreement with Rosatom more than a year before, on September 22 2014, that would make the Russians the sole supplier for South Africa’s nuclear power programme.

Last year, the High Court set aside this agreement and framework agreements with other countries. https://city-press.news24.com/News/state-was-willing-to-lie-to-sa-over-costs-of-zumas-nuclear-plan-20181008

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October 9, 2018 - Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, South Africa

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