DoE claims nuke procurement details classified

The 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.

“The 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 affordability assessment.“

AmaBhungane 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”. 

AmaBhungane 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. It added: “We confirm that the reports are classified. Thus, at this stage, the disclosure of the reports would be premature, and therefore, access is refused…”

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 Act.

AmaBhungane engages in advocacy under its mandate to help secure the information rights investigative journalists need to do their work.

* Got a tip-off for us about this story? Click here.

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.

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

‘It takes two to tango’: The private sector must ’fess...

During a webinar on Wednesday, the group chief executive of EOH, Stephen van Coller, called private sector participation in the Zondo commission into state capture ‘disappointing’

Maasai land in Tanzania earmarked for UAE royals

Protracted effort by authorities to evict the pastoralists in Loliondo for safari tourism has led to violent confrontation

A stylish way to pay

Steve Jobs said, “The best way to create value in the 21st century is to connect creativity with technology”. A fact leading African tech...

South Africa among countries where debt collection is most difficult

Some small to medium businesses are taking as long as 180 days to settle debts, according to an assessment by international insurer Allianz Trade
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×