Zille: ANC stake in Hitachi is a scandal

The African National Congress is benefiting from the country's power emergency, DA leader Helen Zille said on Saturday. "While Mpumalanga's economy is not growing and more people are unemployed, while South Africa is in a power emergency and while our electricity prices increase every year, Jacob Zuma's ANC is profiting," Zille said in a speech prepared for delivery.

She was speaking at the launch of the Democratic Alliance's Mpumalanga election campaign in Nelspruit. Zille said the sale of ANC's shares in Hitachi Power Africa was a conflict of interest. "Hitachi Power Africa is the company that got contracts of R38-billion to install boilers at the Medupi and Kusile power stations, right here in Mpumalanga.

"Those projects have been delayed because of many mistakes and bungles by contractors, including Hitachi itself. We have been saying for years that it is a clear conflict of interest and corruption for Zuma's ANC to be making money off government contracts," she said.

Chancellor House, the investment arm of the ruling party announced on Friday that it sold its 25% stake in Hitachi Power Africa, which had controversially benefited from state-funded contracts. The shares in the Japanese firm's African subsidiary were sold to Hitachi Power Europe for an undisclosed amount.

Zille said Mpumalanga would probably be the province to benefit the most if South Africa's economy was growing and creating jobs. "There would be tens of thousands of new jobs in this province – in mining, in transport, in new power stations, and in hundreds of other businesses. "But Mpumalanga is not growing, under Jacob Zuma's ANC, our progress is being reversed," she said.

"The announcement even stressed that the price is very confidential, so that no one will be able to calculate exactly how much is going in to the election coffers of Zuma's ANC," she said. "It is a scandal, and all South Africans should be furious. It makes Nkandla look like a warm-up." – Sapa

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