4 June 2018

South Africa: 'No Plans' For Nuclear Deal Between Russia, South Africa - Energy Minister

Cape Town — Minister of Energy Jeff Radebe has said that South Africa no longer has an arrangement to procure nuclear energy with Russia, eNCA reports.

Minister Radebe spoke on the matter during an interview with Karima Brown on eNCA's "The Fix". When asked to clarify the status of the nuclear deal following Deputy President David Mabuza's official visit to the Russian Federation in May and the BRICS Summit due to take place in Johannesburg, Radebe said any deal for nuclear procurement was set aside in court.

"The submission of that intergovernmental agreement of Russia, US and South Korea was put to test in the High Court in South Africa where the court decided that the submission of those was unconstitutional and unlawful and we are back to square one... which has now been set aside by the court. The submission of that agreement into Parliament as you know will require a ratification by our Parliament in order to have an agreement to be valid."

Minister Radebe aslo spoke on corruption in the Central Energy Fund and his intention to reform the organisation. "Well it is true that there are challenges in PetroSA, not just PetroSA, the whole holding group of the Central Energy Fund and I am deeply concerned about it. That's why we appointed the Boston Consulting Group to help us to turn around that entity ... We are in the final stages of taking decisions about the turnaround of the whole group in SA today. After that, we will be filling positions because as you know there are many Hollywood actors in CEF, in PetroSA, in Strategic Fuel Fund and so on. That situation cannot go forward unattended, so it is one of my priorities in the next few weeks to ensure there is stability in the CEF."

Before the end of his tenure as leader of the ruling African National Congress, former president Jacob Zuma voiced his committal to securing a nuclear project with Russia during his administration, and described those who opposed it as "backing western agenda". He added: "There are those who support this notion without even knowing the background. They go around saying we don't want nuclear. They are supporting the wrong forces".

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