Cabinet to discuss Eskom's role in nuclear deal at next meeting

Minister Joematt-Pettersson said in October that Eskom was best-placed to drive the procurement process.

Nuclear power plant. Picture:

CAPE TOWN - Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe says Cabinet will discuss a proposal that Eskom become the procurement agent for the country's nuclear power programme at its next meeting.

Radebe was responding to questions after briefing on the outcomes of yesterday's Cabinet meeting.

Energy Minister Tina Joematt-Pettersson said earlier this month Eskom was best-placed to drive the procurement process, while the Department of Energy would act as co-ordinator.

The plan to put Eskom in the nuclear driving seat is set to come before Cabinet in two weeks' time.

Radebe says, "Eskom being the agency is going to be discussed in the next Cabinet (meeting).The minister of energy will be bringing forth those issues for finalisation by Cabinet."

Joematt-Pettersson told Parliament's energy committee earlier this month that Eskom will leverage its own balance sheet to raise the money needed.

Eskom says it wants the first of two nuclear reactors operational in 10 years' time.

But a revised integrated resource plan, which tries to calculate the country's long-term energy needs and ways of meeting them, has yet to be approved by Cabinet.