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Motlanthe speaks on Chancellor House

Feb 29 2012 17:15 Sapa

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Parliament - The ANC's investment wing Chancellor House should ideally not do business with government, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Wednesday.

Replying to questions in the National Assembly, he said Chancellor House should not be advantaged because it is the investment wing of the African National Congress.

Motlanthe was responding to Lance Greyling of the Independent Democrats, who pointed out that the delay in construction at the Medupi power station is mainly due to Hitachi Power Africa being unable to fulfil its obligations to supply boilers in the specified time period.

The delay would be over a year, he said.

Chancellor House has a 25% stake in Hitachi Power Africa.

"So essentially, this massive conflict of interests is now threatening our energy security, with dire consequences for our economy."

Greyling wanted an assurance that Chancellor House would not have shares in any company given tenders in the proposed nuclear build programme, or any of the infrastructure build projects.

Motlanthe said Chancellor House is a company and engages in economic activity inside and outside South Africa.

"Ideally, it should not do business with government at all," he said.

"They did not put their money in Hitachi Africa to produce boilers for Eskom. Hitachi Africa got the contract later. Those are the facts."

Ideally, they should never do business with the government. The market is large enough. Chancellor House could do business anywhere and everywhere in the private sector.

But, for example, investors put their money in a bank, which put it in a unit trust, which in turn put it into a company. "You have no control over that."

Where there is clear evidence of the processes being manipulated, the ANC would be the first to say it has to be dealt with.

"And we say that Chancellor House should not do so, it should not do business in a way which gives it an advantage because it is an investment wing of the African National Congress. That shouldn't happen," Motlanthe said.

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