Questions raised around R171m nuclear contract for SA

It appears the contact is linked to a planned nuclear build despite government saying no deal was signed.

An aerial view of a Johannesburg power station as seen from an aircraft on 23 June, 2010. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Questions have been raised about what appears to be South Africa's first contract for a nuclear build programme, one that has apparently been secured by the son of a friend of President Jacob Zuma.

The Mail & Guardian is reporting that Shantan Reddy clinched a contract worth R171 million for the procurement of a nuclear build programme management system.

It's been listed on the Energy Department's website under the "awarded bids" section despite Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa recently stating that a final decision to proceed with the build will only be made once there's been a request for proposals.

Empire Technology appears to have clinched a multi-million rand contract, the sole director of the company is Reddy, who is the son of property businessman Vivian Reddy, a close friend of Zuma.

Details of the contract are limited but it does appear that it's linked to a planned nuclear build despite government continuously stating that no deal has been signed.

The Democratic Alliance's energy spokesperson Gordon Mackay says the energy ministry has many questions to answer.

"We don't have sufficient information and attempts to get information from the department have not been forthcoming. We have already submitted questions to the department but we have not received a response."

Eskom says it has nothing to do with this part of the nuclear programme as the Energy Department is responsible for building nuclear plants and it would only run any completed power station.