The Democratic Alliance (DA) opposition party in South Africa is questioning the Treasury and the Department of Energy after it learned that a National Treasury official received training in nuclear finance at a cost of $35,607.98 in the 2014/15 financial year, reported ESI Africa.
The DA was able to disclose the National Treasury’s 2015/15 annual report, citing it as evidence against claims made by the Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene and Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson that the Treasury had only recently been invited into the decision-making process on the financing of the country’s nuclear build program.
The finance training was sponsored by South Korea with evidence of extensive feasibility, financing and assessment on behalf of the program.
The DA said: “We cannot sit back and allow the nuclear build programme to go ahead in secret given the massive financial implications for South Africa”, adding that the “report shows the National Treasury’s Urban Development and Infrastructure Unit completed a study on the feasibility of inter alia nuclear energy for electricity generation in South Africa before the end of the 2014/15 financial year.”
Previously the DA’s Shadow Minister of Finance, David Maynier, had requested the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Finance, Yunus Carrim, to schedule a briefing by the National Treasury on these matters, according to AllAfrica.
He explained that the Finance Minister is on a potential collision course with President Jacob Zuma who wants the nuclear build program procurement concluded before the end of the 2015/16 Financial Year.
He added that it was not in the public interest for the work done by the National Treasury on the program to be hidden from the public or Parliament.