South African Nuclear Power Plan Stirs Fears of Secrecy

Fears are growing in South Africa that agreements to build nuclear power plants that could be the most expensive procurement in the country’s history will be made behind closed doors, without the necessary public scrutiny.

Among those voicing concern, two government sources say the Treasury is not being included in procurement discussions, despite the massive budgetary implications of a project that experts say may cost as much as $100 billion.

Construction on the first plant is due to start next year, breakneck speed compared with the years of regulatory and environmental checks for nuclear projects in countries such as Britain and the United States.

The Democratic Alliance, the main opposition party, believes the pace of the deal will prevent proper analysis before contracts are signed and huge sums of money change hands.

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