/ 18 April 2010

Phosa says Hitachi an ANC issue

ANC treasurer Mathews Phosa said the decision to sell the party’s stake in Hitachi Power Africa should be taken by the ruling party, not its investment arm Chancellor House, the Sunday Times reported.

Opposition parties and trade unions have urged the ANC to sell its stake. Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has also spoken out, saying the ANC should do the right thing.

Hitachi Power Africa was awarded a contract to supply steam generators (boilers) for the Medupi power station in 2007. Chancellor House was reported to have had a R3-billion stake in the contract.

Phosa told the newspaper that party general secretary Gwede Mantashe was “not a businessman, he doesn’t know. He says the matter must go to the board, but that’s not true.”

“People who know about these things know that it is a shareholder issue,” he was quoted by the paper as saying.

This comes after Matashe contradicted Phosa’s earlier statement that the ruling party would pull out of Hitachi Power Africa.

Phosa told the newspaper that he had spoken to Popo Molefe, the chairperson of the Chancellor House Trust, who agreed with him.

When Molefe denied having agreed with the withdrawal, Phosa accused him of being “less than frank”. – Sapa