Government under pressure to reconsider using Karpowership amidst corruption allegations

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Environmental experts and civic bodies are putting increasing pressure on government to reconsider using Karpowership to supply emergency power to South Africa due to corruption allegations against the Turkish company.

The losing bidder for the emergency power contracts, DNG Energy, has also made fresh corruption allegations against Karpowership and a government official.

In a supplementary affidavit to court papers, DNG alleges that businessmen who are now partnering with Karpowership approached the firm’s CEO for a bribe.

Karpowership has faced numerous challenges since the government in March granted it the biggest share of a 2 000-megawatt emergency power tender to provide the cheapest and quickest option for electricity.

In June, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment refused environmental approvals for the three gas-to-power projects for reasons including that it did not comply with public participation rules.

Earlier in September, the High Court agreed to postpone an appeal against the emergency tender brought by DNG Energy, a local company, which was not chosen from 11 preferred bidders and wants the decision overturned.

Any delays in finalising the emergency power tender could prolong an energy crisis that has cost Africa’s largest industrial nation billions of rands in lost revenue due to regular electricity blackouts.

Lobby groups await Nersa’s account on approval of floating power stations: