/ 28 September 2014

ANC: Energy’s the problem, not Zuma

Anc: Energy's The Problem, Not Zuma

The ANC on Sunday scolds media reports of President Jacob Zuma orchestrating a R1-trillion nuclear power deal with Russia.

“If there is anything that could be suspect in the process; let us separate that from the main issue, which is that South Africa is a country with a problem of energy,” said national ANC Spokesman Zizi Kodwa.

On Friday, the Mail & Guardian reported that Zuma took control of a R1-trillion nuclear deal with Russia which entailed that they supply as many as eight nuclear plants to South Africa.

The article said Zuma had negotiated directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and instructed Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson to sign it.

“People are playing the man and not the ball. President Jacob Zuma is implementing what he announced in the state of the nation manifesto,” said Kodwa in response.

We have a problem of energy [supply]…Yet when we put together a programme, there is a whole noise about it,” he said.

“People are not interested in building a future in the country; people are looking at what they can criticise”.

Kodwa said the decisions made for stabilising energy supply – including the use of nuclear power – were not taken lightly.

“Nothing is free or cheap. We have got to make tough decisions. We have to look at what is best for the country.”

On Saturday, the energy department issued a statement denying that President Jacob Zuma interfered with the deal or forced Joemat-Pettersson to sign it.

“The department wishes to refute all allegations of ‘undue influence’ by the president towards concluding this agreement,” the acting director general of the department of energy Wolsey Barnard said.

“The allegations are baseless and at worst ludicrous, and they are purely concocted in order to tarnish the image and integrity of the president and the government of South Africa.” –Sapa