ANC MP and chairman of Parliament’s portfolio committee on energy Fikile Majola says that government has to exercise caution and proceed with full transparency when it comes to the country’s costly nuclear plans.
According to a report by the City Press, while Majola isn’t opposed to the plans, he said that the agreements need to be scrutinised fully to see if the build is in the interests of the country – and more importantly, whether or not we can afford it.
The country is in the process of procuring a nuclear fleet to generate 9,600 megawatts of power, and hopes to finalise nuclear build plans by the end of 2015.
The deal is estimated to cost R500 billion according to the department of energy – though the Democratic Alliance and other experts have said that all things point to it being closer to R1 trillion or even more.
Majola said that plans on this scale cannot simply be rubber-stamped and pushed through, and he has been calling for more public consultation and hearings. This, despite Energy Minister, Tina Joemat-Pettersson and other officials’ saying enough has already been done.
“I’m not scared to be alone from time to time on something that is correct,” Majola was quoted saying, adding that rubber-stamping would be unconstitutional.
“If the legislature can’t say no, then there is no point in having a legislature as a counterbalance,” he was quoted saying.
Earlier in September Joemat-Pettersson refuted reports of the nuclear build hitting R1 trillion
“We are committed to transparency,” she said. “We are not going to compromise our country in any way.”
South Africa has already signed framework agreements with Russia, France, China, South Korea and the US, and is finalising agreements with Canada and Japan.
The full story can be read in the City Press of 13 September 2015.