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20 Aug 2015 10:40
department of energy on Wednesday refused
to disclose key records related to the impending procurement of new nuclear
power stations, South Africa’s largest tender yet at a ballpark R1-trillion.
importance of transparency in a matter involving public expenditure on such a
scale cannot be over-stated. The department’s response falls woefully short of
the required standard,” said amaBhungane advocacy co-ordinator Karabo Rajuili.
Read the department of energy’s refusal
The ANC, in its National General Council discussion documents, added
its voice this week to a growing call for transparency in the nuclear
procurement, saying: “Government must commit to a
full, transparent and thorough cost benefit analysis of nuclear power as part
of the procurement process, and clarify the status of the update to the
Integrated Resource Plan.
“Government must also announce publicly that nuclear energy can
only be procured in line with the legal prescripts and after a thoroughgoing
submitted a Promotion of Access to Information Act (Paia) request to the
department after a media briefing on July 14 about the country’s
readiness to embark on the nuclear build programme.
At the briefing, the deputy
director general for nuclear energy‚ Zizamele Mbambo, said a review proved that
the proposed nuclear build is “fundable” and will “contribute positively to the
economy of the country”.
requested records including the contracting strategy for the nuclear build
programme, records relating to the financing arrangements, and studies about regulatory
independence and institutional arrangements.
See amaBhungane’s Paia application
In refusing to disclose the information, the department claimed
commercial and third-party exemptions.
Paia exemptions such as those claimed should, however, be read in line with the provisions
of the Constitution, which specifies transparency in state procurement.
AmaBhungane will file an internal appeal as permitted under the
AmaBhungane engages in advocacy under its mandate to help
secure the information rights investigative journalists need to do their work.
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The M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism (amaBhungane) produced this story. All views are ours. See www.amabhungane.co.za for our stories, activities and funding sources.
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