If South Africa’s new energy plan contains nuclear power as part of the country’s future energy mix, it suggests that State Capture is still embedded in government, anti-nuclear lobby groups say. The new Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), a road map laying out South Africa’s future energy mix for the next 20 years, will be presented to Cabinet on 15 August, Energy Minister Jeff Radebe said last week. An energy policy expert has warned that a nuclear programme in South Africa is “unfinanceable” – even if Russia pays. After South Africa’s controversial nuclear deals signed with Russia, Korea and the US, backed by former President Jacob Zuma, were found to be unlawful and unconstitutional by the Western Cape High Court in 2017, there has been speculation as to whether this spells the end of the nuclear expansion programme, or whether the government would begin afresh. The new IRP will reveal which way government intends to go. If the energy minister knows, he is not saying. At a ministerial briefing of the energy portfolio committee on Tuesday last week, MPs asked Radebe three times if the government intended pursuing the nuclear programme, and three times he gave a wait-and-see answer. Anti-nuke campaigner Liz McDaid of the SA Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI), who with Earthlife Africa’s director Makoma Lekalakala brought the nuclear court case against the government, said none of the expert reports on South Africa’s future electricity mix had found that there was a need for nuclear power.
Daily Maverick 14th May 2018 read more »