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SA's nuclear procurement process to start afresh - Kubayi

May 13 2017 11:44
Jan Gerber, News24

Cape Town - South Africa's nuclear procurement process will start afresh, Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi announced on Saturday morning.

"There is a need for nuclear in this country," Kubayi stated unequivocally at a briefing. 

She said this is needed as part of the energy mix to reduce South Africa's carbon footprint by 34% by 2020. 

She was responding to the Western Cape High Court's judgment on April 26 which set aside the process.

"I have decided that I will not be appealing the decision of the Western Cape High Court on this matter.

"Government and the department remains committed to the currently approved energy mix policy and will continue to strive to implement all forms of energy sources to secure the supply and availability of energy in the country. We appeal to our stakeholders to stop the temptation to divide the sector between nuclear and renewables."

The department will now start anew determining the funding model and the cost for the project, and negotiations to sing new agreements with the US, China, South Korea, Russia and France will start by June. 

She said these countries, with who South Africa had agreements which were set aside by the court, were "anxious" about the court's ruling.

"It is uncomfortable for them.

"We will try our level best to start signing new agreements," she said, adding that once this is done, it will be brought to parliament.

Kubayi said she wants the new process to be "clean, clinical" and able to withstand all scrutiny.

"I don't want myself in court every day."

She said this was expensive and time-consuming.

Despite accepting the court's judgment, Kubayi was clearly not impressed by it.

"The fact that I accept the judgment doesn't mean I agree with everything," she said.

Kubayi said is seemed as if some points of the judgment were based on public opinion.

"I don't think the courts should pronounce on policy, that is our [government's] space," she said, adding that this is entrenched in the Constitution under the doctrine of the separation of powers.

Kubayi vowed to keep South Africans informed about the nuclear process. 

nuclear energy  |  eskom

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