Tina Joemat-Pettersson. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON
Tina Joemat-Pettersson. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON

A R171m, two-year contract has been awarded to black-owned Empire Technology, for project management systems for the nuclear build programme, Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said on Friday.

By the end of July, R22.8m had been paid to the company in terms of the contract, the minister said in a written reply to a parliamentary question by EFF MP Mzingisi Dlamini.

Another R20m contract was awarded to Mahlako-A-Phahla Investments to advise on a contract, R10m, of which had been paid by the end of July.

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The Department of Energy was allocated R200m in the 2016-17 budget to prepare for the government’s 9,600MW nuclear build programme. Earlier in September, the minister said that by the end of September she would issue a request for proposals for the nuclear build.

"We will test the market to ascertain the actual cost of the modern nuclear power plants to ensure that the procurement is implemented at a scale and pace that our country can afford," she said in her parliamentary reply.

Joemat-Pettersson said various service providers were needed, such as for programme management resources; IT and security; financial management; legal compliance; technical advisory; and commercial and supply chain management.

Replying to a question by ANC MP Zukisa Faku, the minister said her department was working closely with the Department of Public Enterprises, the Treasury and Eskom to discuss Eskom’s concerns about the costs of the Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (IPPPP).

"Once such consultations concluded, a government position will (be) announced on the issue of IPPPPs. At this stage, the IPPP programme continues in its current shape and form, and continues to form an important element of energy mix," she said.

Joemat-Pettersson said work was also being undertaken to unlock constraints in the transmission network ahead of time to meet the needs of additional capacity as it brought online.