Energy Department dispels nuclear corruption rumours
THE DEPARTMENT of Energy released yesterday further details of the companies it had used, in a bid to thwart reports that a company belonging to businessman Vivian Reddy’s son was among the firms getting a slice of the mooted nuclear build programme.
The department said Empire Technology, a company that is owned by Reddy’s son, Shantan, was one of several companies that it had used in the past five years. It issued two statements within 72 hours to assure the country of the integrity of the procurement process.
On Saturday, the department said it would co-operate with the Treasury to verify compliance with the supply chain management norms and standards in relation to the programme. Then yesterday the department named the companies that have been awarded 13 contracts.
“In line with the (National Development Plan, or NDP) directive, the Department of Energy, in conjunction with other organs of state has, over the past five years, been developing various strategies and policies and as a result has commissioned independent studies to create a framework for the procurement decision and the preparation for the procurement of the nuclear new build programme,” the department said.
Last week reports emerged that the department had awarded a programme management system contract to Empire Technology, whose sole director is Shantan. His father Vivian Reddy is one of President Jacob Zuma’s closest friends. The news reinvigorates claims that the nuclear programme will spark a feeding frenzy for politicallyconnected individuals.
The department said it was working within the NDP guidelines for a thorough investigation of the implications of nuclear energy, including its costs, financing options, institutional arrangements, safety, environmental costs and benefits, localisation and employment opportunities, and uranium enrichment and fuel fabrication possibilities.
It said companies that were used included consulting engineering and project management company Ingerop (owner-operator and financing structures, cost of nuclear power and the economic impact of nuclear new build programme); professional services firm Deloitte (finance options models and deferred return on government investor approach); law firm Nathan Gift Nhlapho, which was hired to do a feasibility study on effective independence of the National Nuclear Regulator, as well as requirements, considerations and necessary arrangements by the government in order for South Africa to accede to one of the International Atomic Energy Agency nuclear liability conventions.
Investment holding company Mahlako-A-Phahla Investments and nuclear firm Mzansi Energy Solutions and Innovations were contracted for a pre-procurement readiness assessment and feasibility study on the withdrawal of the safeguards function from the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa), respectively. The University of Pretoria provided a detailed financing model for the radioactive waste management fund.
“It is important to note that the above activities are all part of the preparatory work for the procurement for the programme. The procurement of all the transactional advisers and services providers has been conducted in a manner that is compliant and consistent with all applicable procurement prescripts,” the department said yesterday.