New energy minister departs from nuclear script - Times LIVE
   
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Thu May 25 22:04:16 SAST 2017

New energy minister departs from nuclear script

Linda Ensor | 2017-05-02 12:34:38.0
Minister of Energy Mmamoloko Kubayi
Image by: Trevor Samson

Energy minister Mmamoloko Kubayi has committed her department to public participation and transparency around the nuclear procurement programme.

In her first public comments since taking office‚ the minister told members of parliament's energy portfolio committee that she did not have any problems with a call for public participation in last week's Western Cape High Court judgment.

Judge Lee Bozalek declared that the determinations gazetted by former energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson were unconstitutional and unlawful because the National Energy Regulator of SA had not followed legal prescripts around public participation.

These determinations were the basis on which Eskom has proceeded with its request for information for the procurement of 9‚600MW of nuclear energy.

However‚ while supporting the need for public participation‚ the minister said she was concerned about the status of the determinations.

It might be necessary to seek a declaratory order from the court or appeal the judgment.

Kubayi said she will be meeting with legal counsel on Wednesday to discuss the way forward.

The minister stressed that the integrated resource plan and the integrated energy plan would be finalised this year as policy certainty and predictability were critical for investors.

She stressed that she would not be dragged into issues around procurement of nuclear energy‚ which was not the role assigned to her by the Public Finance Management Act.

Kubayi said she would only be involved in policy issues.

She believed that the gap between the pro and anti-nuclear lobby groups needed to be closed.

She noted the fact that the government had committed itself to reducing carbon emissions by 34% by 2020. The energy sector would have to play its part.

-TMG Digital/BusinessLIVE

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