Faustian nuclear deal

Affordable and reliable renewable energy is fast becoming a fact of life. Why then is South Africa pursuing a massive electrical power-generation programme driven by nuclear fission?

In the build-up to the tender process for the nuclear solution, why are preliminary discussion sessions and workshops taking place exclusively with the Russian nuclear power company Rosatom?

The other tendering companies have been left out in the cold. Isn’t this “arrangement” questionable business practice, at best, and, at least, an undermining of the tender process by our ministry of energy?

Why was Jacob Zuma seeing so much of Vladimir Putin (exclusive one-on-one meetings) in the run-up to the tender process? If it were Brics-related matters, why wasn’t he also seeing as much of the leaders of Brazil, India and China?

Interestingly, before the onset of the nuclear energy project, the Gupta family (Oakbay Resources – with which Duduzane Zuma, JZ’s son, has substantive historical links) were preferentially awarded extensive uranium mining rights by the Mining Department.

Where will the money – $100-billion (R1-trillion) – come from for the total planned nuclear build?

Is it true, as has been rumoured, that the Russians are providing the “means” and will, in return, “own the business”? In which case, South African electricity users will effectively pay Russian interests directly.

Is it also reasonable to assume our future electrical power needs will increasingly be met by allowing the same people to assume this role? Are we handing over the keys of our economy to the same Russians who notoriously use energy as the commodity to manipulate events and to profiteer?

In terms of our absolutely vital supply of electrical power, is a Faustian deal being hastily arranged with Putin’s Russian clique on our behalf?

Are we witnessing the greatest betrayal of all by Jacob Zuma? — Sandy Johnston, Nelson

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