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Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute and Earthlife Africa ready to take legal action against nuclear policy

Abide by nuclear procurement ruling or we go to court, state told
Failure by Energy Minister David Mahlobo, Eskom and Nersa to halt any tender process for nuclear energy will end in court 10 NOVEMBER 2017   LINDA ENSOR The government, Eskom and the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) have been urged to abide by the judgment of the High Court in Cape Town and immediately halt any tender process for nuclear energy.

The call comes from the Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute and Earthlife Africa.

Failure by Energy Minister David Mahlobo, Eskom and Nersa to give an undertaking by Monday that they will halt the process could result in an urgent application being brought to the high court to ensure that its judgment is respected and that the government acts “openly and transparently” with regard to nuclear procurement.

The two organisations have sent lawyers’ letters to Mahlobo, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown, Eskom and Nersa recalling the April judgment, which ruled that any decision made about new electricity generation must be made in conjunction with Nersa through a lawful and procedurally fair determination under section 34 of the Electricity Regulation Act.

The determination would have to specify why new
nuclear energy electricity generation was needed so urgently and what percentage of SA’s energy mix it would fulfil.

Earthlife Africa’s Johannesburg co-ordinator, Makoma Lekalakala, noted that the judgment emphasised the need for public participation as part of the determination processes.

The letters follow news reports that Mahlobo is fast-tracking finalisation of the Integrated Resource Plan by four months so he can expedite nuclear procurement. The plan will determine the energy mix the country will require in future, what proportion of this will be provided by nuclear and when the construction of new nuclear plants should begin.

Eskom has signalled its intention to begin the tender process immediately if the Integrated Resource Plan showed the nuclear programme could go ahead.

Liz McDaid of the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute said the fast-tracking of the plan was being undertaken despite Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba having stated that the country did not need nor could it afford new nuclear plants.

The many serious allegations of state capture and irregular procurement processes by senior Eskom officials could not be ignored, McDaid added.

November 9, 2017 - Posted by | Legal, South Africa

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