Earthlife Africa report warns of dodgy energy deals

Sapa | 10 May, 2013 | Times Live

South Africa will have to drastically increase oversight of projected infrastructure plans to avoid deals which exacerbate poverty and contaminate the environment, it was reported on Friday.

A report released by environmental NGO Earthlife Africa on Thursday warned that there needed to be far greater accountability in the context of the strategic infrastructure project programme, of which electricity infrastructure made up 67%, The Cape Times reported.

It cautioned that if widespread tender corruption took hold, there could be repeats of projects such as the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor and others, which were “riddled with cost escalations, crony capitalism and marginal benefits for the poor”.

Earthlife Africa reportedly said only minimal information had been provided about a proposal to build 9600MW of new nuclear plants, even though it was said to be the single biggest state tender in the country’s history.

It estimated that the price tag could overshoot the government’s R300 billion cost estimate, to reach more than R1.4 trillion, if “typical” time and cost overruns were taken into account.

According to the newspaper, Earthlife Africa criticised the 2010 integrated resource plan as being outdated, and said it was in conflict with the National Development Plan.

SOURCE: http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2013/05/10/earthlife-africa-report-warns-of-dodgy-energy-deals

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