Eskom working behind the scenes on nuclear deal
A court ruling which halted the government’s nuclear plans has not stopped Eskom from trying to progress with its nuclear ambitions. In April, the Western Cape High Court ruled that several of the government’s decisions regarding the procurement of nuclear energy were unlawful and unconstitutional. The High Court further set aside the government’s nuclear agreements with Russia, the United States, and South Korea.
According to the Rapport newspaper, the court ruling has not stopped Eskom from working behind the scenes to make a nuclear deal happen. The newspaper reported that Eskom is lobbying new finance minister Malusi Gigaba, essentially asking him for a blank check for the nuclear project. Citing a letter from Eskom chairman Ben Ngubane to Gigaba, the report stated that Eskom is asking for, among other things, the approval of numerous nuclear programmes.
The letter also requests that normal procurement laws, which were instituted by Gigaba’s predecessors, be removed for the Eskom deal.
The report follows the recent return of Brian Molefe to Eskom as CEO – a move which has been called unlawful by opposition parties and drawn criticism from multiple organisations, including the ANC.