New Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba insist that government’s controversial nuclear-build programme will continue as planned, but that it will not be implemented recklessly.
Critics of the programme, who say it has already been corrupted after the 2014 announcement that Russian nuclear agency Rosatom had already secured the rights to build new South African nuclear plants. The government has since said the announcement was wrong and that nuclear was still in feasibility study stage.
The issues has been contentious as many corners argue that South Africa, whose geographical location makes it the perfect place to implement other alternative energies such as solar and wind power, cannot afford an expensive nuclear programme and does not need it.
Earlier today Gigaba said the country would continue with nuclear in line with government Integrated Resource Plan from 2010, government long term plan for the energy mix which will see the economy move away from relying largely on coal fired power.”We will implement nuclear programme at a pace and scale that the fiscus can afford and the country can afford. I don’t think we will or should try to be reckless about this. the issue of funding model and the technology for it are yet to be finalised,” said Gigaba.
The nuclear-build programme has been a bone of contention between government and anti-nuclear lobby groups who insist South Africa does not need an expensive nuclear programme saying it will be mired in corruption.
Treasury has been previously accused of delaying approval of financing the controversial nuclear-build programme which was suppose to commence this year. A minimum of six nuclear power stations are supposed to be constructed by 2030. The Russians — as well as the French, Chinese, South Koreans, Americans, Japanese and Canadians — have conducted vendor parades to showcase their nuclear technologies to South African experts.