Nuclear deal ‘has the hallmarks of the corrupt arms deal’

The recently announced deal struck with Russia for the supply of nuclear power plants “has all the hallmarks of the corrupt arms deal”, the Right2Know Campaign said on Friday.

“The US50 billion deal is estimated to cost the country 20 times the arms deal, and this price is bound to go up once contracting is completed, as the nuclear industry is notorious for cost escalation and long delays,” R2K said in a statement.

The deal had been conducted in secret, without any public consultation or parliamentary oversight.

“[It] commits us to a dangerous technology, and has all the hallmarks of the corrupt arms deal — the risk of massive corruption-prone foreign tenders that have the potential of indebting us to foreign companies and rob the country of funds for service delivery and job creation.”

While government had said there would be a procurement process before the deal was finalised, R2K wanted a full and transparent national dialogue on meeting South Africa’s future energy needs.

“If the state is committed to open government, they must provide a clear roadmap for this dialogue, including timelines, milestones, and the role of various oversight bodies, including Parliament.

“Government had to commit to full transparency and access to information throughout the process.

“Our democracy cannot afford another arms deal, where skewed national priorities and corruption have placed a dark cloud over consecutive administrations,” it said.

Details of a co-operation agreement — to supply as many as eight nuclear plants generating up to 9.6GW of power — were announced on Monday in joint statements issued by South Africa’s energy department and Russia’s atomic energy corporation Rosatom.

 

Source : Sapa /rod/jk/th/ar/ks

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