Nuclear deal gets the go ahead
Cape Town - Reports that the Cabinet has approved the start of the nuclear procurement programme come as “no surprise”, economist Dawie Roodt said on Monday morning.
The Cabinet decision now clears the way for the Department of Energy to call for proposals to provide South Africa with 9.6GW of nuclear power without first doing a cost-benefit analysis.
Roodt said suppliers of nuclear technology would now be able to respond to the request, providing pricing and financing models.
At the time the programme was first announced, Russia claimed it already had signed a deal with the South African government, in spite of the fact that proper processes had not been run here by then. The Zuma government denied Russia’s claims.
According to a report at the weekend in the Weekend Argus, Zuma’s personal friends, the Gupta family from India, had invested heavily in uranium mining, even before talk of the new nuclear programme had become official.
According to Monday’s Business Day, the decision on the nuclear deal was taken at the same Cabinet meeting after which former Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene was removed from his post.
However, Cabinet’s approval of the deal was not announced by Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe in his Cabinet briefing on Friday.
Nene had insisted that the nuclear deal would not continue if the country could not afford it and it was speculated that he had been axed to get him out of the way.
The decision on the nuclear deal was made shortly before President Zuma announced that he had replaced Nene with the inexperienced David van Rooyen.
After only four days on the job Van Rooyen, was replaced by former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Sunday night.