Officials in the department of energy are “working weekends” to ensure South Africa gets more nuclear power.
According to the City Press, Energy Minister David Mahlobo is forcing his nuclear energy plan into action – which requires the finalisation of the country’s reviewed integrated energy resource plan.
The plan was set to be completed in February 2018, but is now scheduled to be completed in the next two weeks, stated the report.
Once the plan is complete, Mahlobo may use it to justify the need for nuclear energy using “empirical evidence”.
This is despite strong opposition against any new nuclear deal for South Africa – including Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba stating that the deal was not needed in the country.
Gigaba is reportedly slamming the brakes on the planned R1-trillion nuclear project, which he called unaffordable and unnecessary.
The report comes after Mahlobo said the decision to forge ahead with nuclear power is based on ensuring the country’s energy supply going into the future.
“South Africa recognises the role of nuclear power in ensuring security of energy supply and meeting the challenge of climate change,” he said.
It is alleged, however, that a team from Russia recently met with South African officials on behalf of President Vladimir Putin to instruct them to ensure the nuclear energy deal was concluded as soon as possible.