Cape Town - Parliament’s portfolio committee on energy learned on Tuesday from deputy minister of energy Thembisile Majola that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet was considering doing an about-turn on former president Jacob Zuma’s Integrated Resource Plan.
This heartened opposition MPs in the committee who cautiously welcomed the news as a sign that Ramaphosa would, once and for all, abandon Zuma’s nuclear build programme. Earlier in the month Ramaphosa replaced Zuma-loyalist David Mahlobo with brother in law Jeff Radebe as minister of energy.
This comes as the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has interdicted Radebe from getting into any Independent Power Producer deals while the National Union of Metalworkers of SA for the commencement of renewable energy deals until the union’s legal challenges against the move are finalised.
The Western Cape High Court last year ruled government’s plans of procuring nuclear as unconstitutional and unlawful, setting aside any deals with Russia and other countries. This would not be the first time that government put the brakes on a nuclear procurement plan.
While he was minister of finance, now Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said ahead of his budget speech in February that South Africa would not proceed with nuclear procurement because the country simply could not afford it.
Fin24 was reliably informed that Majola told the committee that Cabinet was in the process of giving the IRP approved in December a relook. He said that the process of developing another IRP would begin again to ensure a thorough process.
Committee member for the Democratic Alliance Gavin Davis released a statement where he called on Radebe to reassure South Africans that the nuclear deal, speculated to cost as much as R1.2trillion, was over for good.* SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE UPDATE: Get Fin24's top morning business news and opinions in your inbox.Follow Fin24 on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.