Mantashe must reject Karpowership as the preferred bidder for the RMIPPP

Issued by Kevin Mileham MP – DA Shadow Minister of Energy
06 Oct 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Kevin Mileham MP

Following startling allegations of influence peddling and ‘quid pro quo’ machinations to secure permits and control of gas terminals, Karpowership’s position as a preferred bidder for the Risk Mitigation IPP Procurement Programme (RMIPPP) has become legally untenable.

Three years after Karpowership was announced as one of the preferred bidders, they have completely failed to meet the requirements of the RMIPPP and are now undermining the country’s laws to get what they want through fair or foul means.

Based on available evidence, the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, should immediately rescind Karpowership’s preferred bidder status and bar them from further participation in South Africa’s energy sector.

It must be put on record that the DA once called for an inquiry into the RMIPPP, specifically into Karpowership, by the Parliament Portfolio Committee on Mineral Resources and Energy.

While it was initially agreed to, it never followed through on the process of investigating Karpowership. The latest revelations of impropriety confirm that our justifications for a parliamentary inquiry were well-founded.

The latest allegations and the exposure of the confidential MOU between Karpowership and its new BBBEE partner, BHI Energy (chaired by Anna Mokgokong), highlights the lengths that Karpowership is willing to go to in order to secure control of SA’s gas terminals through tricks straight from the state capture playbook – influence peddling.

The few authorisations and licences that Karpowership, and some of its partners, have secured to date are now under a heavy cloud of suspicion – particularly on the potential methods they used to secure them.

It is the DA’s considered view that, in light of revelations made in the MOU presented before the court, the Section 79 determination awarded to Karpowership by the former Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula, should now be reviewed and set aside. Relatedly, the three generation licences awarded to Karpowership IPPs by NERSA in 2021 should now be subjected to administrative review.

With all the negative press that has accompanied Karpowership since they were announced as one of the preferred bidders for the RMIPPP, they have no intention of using their own money in setting up shop in South Africa. Rather they want the South African taxpayer to subsidise their non-existent investment, and they are ready to achieve this goal by hook or crook.

If anything, Karpowership is now holding its preferred bidder status for speculative purposes and Mantashe should terminate it immediately to put a stop to the charade.

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