Government plans to charge more for electricity to pay for R1 trillion nuclear deal: DA
The Department of Energy’s proposed R1 trillion nuclear programme is likely to be funded with electricity tariff hikes‚ says Democratic Alliance MP Gordon Mackay.
The Department of Energy and the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (NECSA) appeared before the Portfolio Committee on Energy today to brief it on the Nuclear Build Programme.
“From today’s briefing it is clear that government has brazenly chosen to pursue the nuclear build despite it being fraught with financial and infrastructural limitations‚” Mackay said in a statement.
“Of great concern are the cagey and evasive responses provided by the Department on the proposed financing models for what will be SA’s most expensive public procurement process ever. “Only a single slide in the presentation provides the public with information on the funding.
In the slide it is suggested that the Department of Energy‚ through Eskom‚ intends to finance this programme by way of ‘tariff recovery at early stages’ – also known as the Medupi/Kusile model where the consumer carries the cost of the new build through tariff increases.
“From this information‚ one can only conclude that the DoE intends to fund the nuclear programme through massive electricity price hikes. “This will inflate the cost of running a business‚ cause widespread job losses‚ and make electricity unaffordable for many South Africans.” At an estimated cost of R1 trillion before cost over runs‚ he said‚ “the choice to go nuclear is nothing short of absurd”.
Mackay said the DA will call for a debate of national importance in Parliament on the severe consequences of the nuclear build programme for all South Africans.