Large-scale nuclear power project remains ‘unaffordable’‚ says Gigaba

25 October 2017 - 15:29
By Staff Writers
A view of the setting sun through the pylons of the Koeberg nuclear power station near Cape Town.
Image: ESA ALEXANDER A view of the setting sun through the pylons of the Koeberg nuclear power station near Cape Town.

Asked about the absence of nuclear power plans from his medium-term budget policy statement on Wednesday‚ Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said nuclear remained in the energy mix‚ but procurement of a large-scale nuclear power project remained unaffordable.

Speaking to reporters ahead of his speech in Parliament on Wednesday‚ he said a new integrated resource plan on energy would provide more clarity.

The push for the nuclear build has taken on new urgency in the past week‚ with weekend media reports that President Jacob Zuma had recently met with a Russian delegation.

 

Both the Presidency and the Russian embassy in SA have denied being aware of the meeting‚ where Zuma is believed to have come under pressure to start implementing the nuclear power project.

Zuma’s Cabinet reshuffle last week included the appointment of David Mahlobo as energy minister.

The possible capture of SA’s energy sector goes beyond the nuclear project. PetroSA faces a probe of projects alleged to be milking it.

Mahlobo was also reported to have travelled to Russia with ex-convicts Gayton McKenzie and Kenny

Kunene to facilitate a R5bn deal with Russian company Rosgeo.

Mahlobo was still state security minister at the time of the trip.