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Nuclear: Govt determined to bankrupt SA, says Outa

Jun 21 2017 18:38
Yolandi Groenewald

Johannesburg - Critics of South Africa’s new nuclear programme warned the government to weigh their words and actions meticulously, and stick to the process a court ordered it to follow.

The admonition comes after Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) chair Kelvin Kemm told delegates at the Russian nuclear forum AtomExpo 2017 in Moscow that the South African nuclear deal will be completed before the end of this year and that Russia’s Rosatom was a definite contender.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) said in a statement on Wednesday that it seemed that insiders involved in SA’s nuclear bid are just so full of confidence and arrogance that they are again jumping the gun on nuclear, despite the Western Cape High Court’s verdict, earlier this year.

Energy director Ted Blom said it was “unfathomable” where Kemm found the right to make pronouncements on decisions that still needed to happen and public engagements which still have to occur.

He said they would be filing Kemm’s comments in Moscow away for future court actions.

“I will keep Kemm’s comments should we at a later stage need to approach the courts for further relief from this rotten process,” he said. “It has again become very clear that the current government is not capable of running an ethical show, and is determined to bankrupt SA at any cost.”

In March the Western Cape High Court set aside the nuclear agreements government signed with vendor countries including Russia, declaring them unlawful and unconstitutional. Earthlife Africa and the South African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute won the case after challenging the government’s decision to procure 9.6 MW of nuclear energy.

Kemm and Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi used the conference as an opportunity to hold bilateral meetings, telling commentators that South Africa was still very much on board when it came to nuclear.

READ: Rosatom shrugs off minister's doubts

Blom said alternatively, Kemm is telling South Africans the decisions have already been made. This message he says has been doing the rounds since 2013, and Kemm's actions hints that there is truth to the rumour.

"For the sake of transparencyand fairness, I trust that Kemm is not part of the decision-making stakeholder forum, otherwise he has just shown his bias — which we would be happy to raise if we need to approach the courts for further relief from this corruption-driven deal," Blom said.

"The government’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), criticised during that court case as years out of date, is still being updated; public comment closed at the end of March but no revised draft has yet been seen."

"That needs finalising before any new nuclear planning can go ahead, and any new determinations on nuclear build and procurement must also go through the public participation process. Only then can procurement start."

Read Fin24's top stories trending on Twitter:

necsa  |  outa  |  ted blom  |  kelvin kemm  |  nuclear


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