Nuclear deal not signed, says Russian bidder
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.