Committee in the dark on nuclear deal

Johannesburg - Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson will have to inform Parliament's portfolio committee on energy on the nuclear deal with Russia, according to the Beeld.

"The members of the committee pointed out that the agreement was announced suddenly, without any discussion with the committee. We do not know what the facts are," portfolio committee chairperson Fikile Majola was quoted as saying.

"The matter is in the public domain and we as review committee must be informed. It is our role."

The next committee meeting is on October 13, the newspaper reported on Saturday.

The energy department rejected a report in the Mail&Guardian that President Jacob Zuma took control of a R1 trillion nuclear deal, negotiated directly with Russian president Vladimir Putin, and instructed Joemat-Pettersson to sign it.

Unnamed sources told the M&G Zuma instructed Joemat-Pettersson to sign the deal on the sidelines of the International Atomic Energy Agency conference in Vienna.

Russia had clinched a deal to build nuclear reactors in South Africa.

Some details of the co-operation agreement - to supply as many as eight nuclear plants generating up to 9.6GW of power - were announced in joint statements by the energy department and Russia's atomic energy corporation, Rosatom.
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