Gigaba to meet with Eskom, ministries on SA's nuclear plan | Fin24
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Gigaba to meet with Eskom, ministries on SA's nuclear plan

Apr 13 2017 17:09
Liesl Peyper

Cape Town – An imminent meeting with Eskom and the ministries of Public Enterprises and Energy will give him some idea on how to go forward with South Africa’s nuclear build programme, said Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba on Thursday.

Speaking to journalists after a question-and-answer session with local investors at Parliament, Gigaba said he has not yet been briefed on the intended nuclear programme.

“But I myself have decided to call a meeting with the energy and public enterprises ministers and Eskom,” Gigaba said. “I understand National Treasury had done some work with the Department of Energy with regard to nuclear. I need to be briefed and decide on the way forward.”

READ: Nuclear uncertainty cited as one of the reasons for Fitch downgrade - economist

In his introductory remarks ahead of the investor engagement, Gigaba said the issue of nuclear energy procurement has come up in almost all of his earlier media briefings.

“To reiterate a commitment already made by government, any procurement of nuclear energy will follow due process as required by the Constitution and the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), and will proceed only at a pace and scale that the country can afford,” Gigaba said.

The new finance minister also said he called for a meeting with Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa which is set to take place on Thursday April 18 to discuss the issues plaguing state-owned entities (SOEs).

Ramaphosa is heading an inter-ministerial committee tasked with the reform of SOEs, including private sector participation, governance issues and structural changes.

READ: S&P downgrades Eskom 

Gigaba acknowledged that the contingent liabilities of SOEs, which was also raised as a concern by ratings agencies Standard & Poor’s (S&P) and Fitch when downgrading South Africa to junk status last week, need to be addressed urgently.

“We are acutely aware that SOEs need to be managed well in order to be engines or enablers of inclusive growth, rather than a drag on it. One of our top priorities will be to work closely with the Presidency and the economic cluster to stabilise our key SOEs,” Gigaba said. 

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