A confidential document reveals that South Africa’s nuclear-build programme kicks off in earnest in June when Eskom issues a formal request for proposals from companies bidding for the estimated R1 trillion contract.
The nuclear deal – for which Russian company Rosatom is widely considered to be the frontrunner – is, say senior Treasury officials, “directly related” to President Jacob Zuma’s axing of finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas.
“It is well known that Gordhan was against the project as he said the country couldn’t afford it. Eskom will be issuing a request for proposals in June and that really is the beginning of procurement. Gordhan had to go because he was going to block it again,” said a senior official.