A visitor observes the Novovoronezh NPP-2 nuclear power station operated by a unit of Rosatom in Russia. File picture: Andrey Rudakov, Bloomberg

Cape Town - South Africa Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson on Tuesday confirmed that Eskom would be taking charge of South Africa's nuclear build programme, with her department staying on as the co-ordinating agent for the project.

Leading a team from her department and Eskom briefing Parliament's portfolio committee on energy, Joemat-Pettersson said it would be a “travesty of justice” for her department to be responsible for procuring nuclear energy plants.

“We do not have the skills to procure nuclear,” said Joemat-Pettersson. “We will continue to be policy-setting department and the policy co-cordinator of the programme.”

The minister and her team told MPs that a recommendation would be made to cabinet that Eskom be designated as the procurer for the envisaged 9 600 megawatts of nuclear energy from power plants to be situated at sites in the Western and Eastern Cape.

Joemat-Pettersson also used the parliamentary platform to again deny allegations that a deal for nuclear procurement had already been signed with Russia.

“This procurement method we are announcing today should demystify the myth that I've signed some deal. I've not signed any nuclear deal,” she said. “I have no interest in what or who procures. The reality remains that Eskom is the only owner/operator of nuclear. The reality remains that all our policies and laws...designate Eskom as the owner of the nuclear power plants.”

AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY