Johannesburg – Legally, there is nothing in the agreement between Rosatom and the Department of Energy (DoE) that indicates a nuclear deal has been concluded, said Viktor Polikarpov regional vice-president for sub-Saharan Africa.
Polikarpov spoke to Fin24 in an interview at the National Nuclear Regulator conference held in Pretoria on Thursday.
Previously, Fin24 reported that civil bodies, Earth Life Africa Johannesburg (ELA) and the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (Safcei) planned to take legal proceedings against the DoE over an agreement signed with Russia’s nuclear firm Rosatom ahead of the official procurement process.
In Rosatom’s point of view, there is no indication in the agreement that a nuclear deal was concluded.
“When you read the agreement itself, you will see that it is very general and does not contain any signs of a deal from a legal point of view,” he said.
The agreement contains elements of intent.
“It contains the element of a proposal and the spheres of cooperation, nothing else. From a legal point of view, there is nothing you can charge.”
Fin24 reported that ELA, Safeci and the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) were working to stop the procurement deal between South Africa and Russia. These organisations alleged that they have legal documents in their possession that indicate South Africa signed a binding deal with Russia.
READ: Civil bodies a step closer in nuclear deal challenge
“We are not unique, we are the first in a series of agreements,” said Polikarpov, indicating that countries like the US and Japan had entered into similar agreements with the DoE.
Previously, Polikarpov told Fin24 the speculations were “totally groundless”.
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Requests for proposals (RFPs) for the nuclear build programme, had been delayed. Minister of Energy Tina Joemat-Pettersson initially announced that the RFPs would be issued on September 30 2016. However Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said more consultations had to take place before the RFPs could be issued.Read Fin24's top stories trending on Twitter: