Karpowership offer to buy government a game farm is brazen bribery

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

Revelations that Karpowership is proposing to buy and donate a game farm to Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife in order to facilitate environmental approval for its gas-fired power plant, are straight out of the state capture playbook and a brazen violation of the law.

The DA is therefore calling on the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment – Barbara Creecy, to immediately cease further consideration of Karpowership’s application for environmental approval to moor its gas plant in Richards Bay. The open bribe to Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife has contaminated the application and rendered it unsuitable for further processing.

The obvious desperation by Karpowership to obtain environmental approval at all costs has exposed their willingness to break South Africa’s laws to get their way. Creecy must, under no circumstances, give in to this and must hold the line against corporate extortion.

In fact, under the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004 (the Act), Creecy is obliged to refer the issue to law enforcement authorities to ascertain whether there is prima facie evidence of corruption by Karpowership.

Section 4 (b) of the Act prescribes that ‘..any person who directly or indirectly, gives or agrees or offers to give any gratification to a public officer…in order to act, personally or by influencing another person so to act in a manner that amounts to any other unauthorised or improper inducement… is guilty of the offence of corrupt activities relating to public officers’. Clearly, by buying a game farm for Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife with the express intent of influencing Creecy’s decision on their environmental application, Karpowership may be directly violating the Act – warranting that they be held accountable for corruption.

It would a gross dereliction of duty by a public official if Creecy ignores the clear violation of the law by Karpowership and grants them the environmental approval certificate. Creecy has already gone out of her way to keep Karpowerships’ other environmental applications under active consideration. Despite finding that Karpowership’s 8 other applications contained “material and fatal” defects, she did not dismiss them but instead referred them back to a section of her department that deals with environmental authorisations.

South Africa is a country of laws and Karpowership must not abuse our rules and processes to force through their application for environmental authorisation through the back door. Creecy is obliged under the law to authorise an immediate stop to Karpowership’s application until the allegations of this brazen act of corruption is thoroughly and transparently investigated and resolved.

Be part of the mission to rescue South Africa, get help registering to vote at check.da.org.za