DA submits PAIA to obtain the record of decision on the Karpowership 20 year albatross on taxpayers

Issued by Kevin Mileham MP – DA Shadow Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy
19 May 2023 in News

Please find attached an English and an Afrikaans soundbite by Kevin Mileham MP.

The DA has submitted a PAIA application to the Minister of Transport, Lydia Chikunga, requesting that she provides a record of decision that informed her Ministry’s decision to issue a section 79 directive that will see the Transnet National Ports Authority provide harbour space for Karpowerships for the next 20 years.

Devoid of any plans to address the ongoing loadshedding crisis, which has pushed the country to the brink, the ANC government is planning to foster a 20-year Karpowership contract on the South African taxpayer that will cost R200 billion. With these ships expected to produce only 1200MW, which is equivalent to one stage of loadshedding, this is definitely not value for money.

The record of decision that the DA is requesting through our PAIA application should provide:

  • The criteria the Minister use to issue an expedited section 79 directive to the TNPA to provide harbour space for Karpowerships;
  • A record of the objections that were reportedly raised by TNPA and why they were discarded; and
  • A record of minutes for meetings that the Minister had with Cabinet colleagues before a decision was taken to issue the directive.

The ANC government appears to be in a hurry to tie South Africans to a ridiculous contract that will not put a dent on the ongoing electricity generation deficit. Perhaps even more alarming is that, the Karpowership company failed to reach financial close within the specified deadline but this was now being deliberately overlooked to ensure that their 3 power ships are moored in South Africa’s harbours at any cost.

Their failure to reach financial close on time raises questions about how the rules have been bent to accommodate Karpowerships – to the detriment of any other potential bidders who were excluded initially.

A 20-year energy contract is not emergency procurement but an evergreen windfall to rip billions from the country. At best, the Karpowerships contracts should only be 5 years and only renewed depending on need.