Cape Town – After an organisation's search for information surrounding South Africa’s plans to fund its costly nuclear energy programme hit a stumbling block, it took to the streets on Wednesday to protest against government's "secrecy".
WATCH: Government blocks Safcei information request
The Southern African Faith Communities' Environment Institute (Safcei) said it approached National Treasury to explain its financial options model and economic impacts of localisation studies for the programme, which could cost over R1trn if the full 9 600 MW of nuclear energy is procured between 2023 and 2030.
Safcei said that on September 1, Treasury referred its Promotion of Access to Information Act application to the Department of Energy, which in turn refused to reveal any details on September 11.
The Treasury referral came on the same day that Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson told Members of Parliament that she was committed to a transparent process around the nuclear deals.
In reaction to the stonewalling, Safcei and its supporters gathered outside parliament on Wednesday to demonstrate against the government’s “continued secrecy” around the nuke deals.
Safcei spokesperson Liz McDaid told Fin24 that the matter should be as transparent as possible. “In the public interest, we believe this information is necessary and so we have briefed our lawyers… to appeal this decision.”