Nuclear energy procurement process given greenlight

Pravin Gordhan has stressed that Treasury would only proceed with plans that were 'affordable'.

Picture: Free Images.

CAPE TOWN - South Africa's nuclear procurement plan has been published in a government gazette notice.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan confirmed government's decision to proceed with a "formal procurement process" last week during his first press conference after being reappointed to the portfolio.

Gordhan has stressed that Treasury would only proceed with plans that were affordable.

The Gazette notice released by Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson , in consultation with the National Energy Regulator of South Africa, states the department would be the procurement agency.

The electricity must be purchased by Eskom or by any successor entity to be designated by the minister.

Energy expert Chris Yelland says, "This does not mean that a deal has been done; it simply means the procurement process will commence and it will do so with a request for proposals. This is a long way from a done deal."

Speculation is rife that Gordhan's predecessor Nhlanhla Nene was sacked because he was stalling the nuclear build programme.

Nene was replaced by African National Congress Member of Parliament, Des Van Rooyen, who was removed four days later to make way for Gordhan.