The Russian Connection

The Russian Connection

Vladimir Putin’s crowd conjured up a plan to build a R300bn ‘aerotropolis’ in Maritzburg. There was cash to be harvested and Jacob Zuma was on board, but the madcap extravaganza came crashing down one drunken night. 

Just five days after President Jacob Zuma signed a memorandum of understanding with President Vladimir Putin over Russia’s intended “cooperation” in South Africa’s planned R1-trillion nuclear-build programme, a motley bunch of Eastern European investors arrived in Durban for a meeting with Zuma.

The delegation was led by a little-known Czech non-profit organisation called the Open Doors of Europe Fund, headed by its president, a Mrs Stanislava Rousova. The main purpose of the fund is purportedly to channel buckets of Russian money for special international projects.

On 14 July 2015 Zuma received the group at John Dube House, the KwaZulu-Natal presidential home,  to be briefed about the fund’s grand plan to build a massive US$21-billion (approximately R300bn at the time) “aerotropolis” outside Pietermaritzburg, KZN’s modest capital city.

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Reader's comments

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Submitted by : Mortis on 2017-12-28 20:56:48
R300 Billion would've been a great injection into an ailing KZN / Maritzburg economy - even if we weren't able to use the airport the spend by the Russians would've given the local economy a boost. Pity that the "local partners" were trying to milk the cow even before it got into the shed. But Jacob promised Putin much and they need a private port of entry to facilitate the nuclear build so I don't think we've seen the end of this story.

Editor's Note
Russians weren't proposing to pour billions into SA; they were wanting guarantees from the SA government for such an investment in a project which was certain to run at a huge loss.


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