Nu­clear deal not signed, says Rus­sian bid­der

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI

THE Rus­sians have de­nied a se­nior del­e­ga­tion from Moscow was in South Africa to sign the R1-tril­lion nu­clear deal.

Vikto Po­likar­pov, vice-pres­i­dent of Rosatom in sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa, said yes­ter­day they were one of the bid­ding firms in the nu­clear pro­ject, but had not signed any deal.

They were await­ing the pub­li­ca­tion of the Re­quest for Pro­pos­als (RFP) be­fore bid­ding.

En­ergy Min­is­ter Tina Joe­mat-Pet­ters­son moved the dead­line for the re­lease of the RFP, ini­tially set for Septem­ber 30. This was to al­low fur­ther con­sul­ta­tions on the nu­clear build pro­gramme.

The new date is early next year, fur­ther de­lay­ing the pro­ject.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said this week a team from Rus­sia was in South Africa to sign the nu­clear deal.

Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma has been ac­cused in Par­lia­ment of hav­ing se­cretly agreed to the deal with the Rus­sians.

Po­likar­pov said he did not know where the ru­mours orig­i­nated. “There has been no Rus­sian del­e­ga­tion in South Africa. We are all wait­ing for the RFP. How can the Rus­sian del­e­ga­tion be here when the RFP has not been is­sued?” he asked.

They were not the pre­ferred bid­der, but were one of the bid­ders, he added.

He said Rosatom was ac­tively pro­mot­ing its work, sug­gest­ing this may be why peo­ple be­lieved a deal had been signed.

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