The DA has been reliably informed that Eskom has applied to the National Treasury Chief Procurement Officer (CPO), Schalk Human, for an exemption from the Standard for Infrastructure Procurement and Delivery Management (SIPDM) – the prescribed procurement standard applicable to the nuclear acquisition.
This is an apparent bid to accelerate the nuclear new build programme. Rushing through the procurement process is simply unacceptable and the DA will oppose any attempt to do so.
The DA will, therefore, submit parliamentary questions to:
- Obtain confirmation of Eskom’s application for an exemption;
- Determine the exact nature of the exemption requested; and
- Establish whether Eskom’s exemption application has or has not been granted and, if so, on what grounds.
We will also submit an application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) to gain access to copies of all relevant correspondence between Eskom and the CPO with regard to Eskom’s application.
At present, sources suggest that Eskom may be seeking an exemption from the requirement to provide a full feasibility assessment for its proposed nuclear new build programme.
This would be a significant exemption and would mean Eskom is embarking on the country’s single biggest public procurement – without fully assessing associated risks and consequences for South Africa’s economy.
All state entities are bound by specific procurement standards and requirements. These processes are vital to ensure the effective, efficient and transparent acquisition of goods and services by the State and its entities. If procurement standards cannot be met – procurement should not commence.
It is difficult to imagine circumstances under which an exemption of this nature might be justified. Therefore, given the sheer magnitude of the implications of pushing ahead with the nuclear deal, it is essential that the public, as a key stakeholder, is made aware of it.
The DA is strongly opposed to the nuclear deal and will continue to pursue all avenues to scrutinise every process involved and to ultimately put a stop to a deal that will enslave future generations of South Africans.