Cape Town church stands up against nuclear plans

Cape Town – A church near the Parliamentary precinct made its opposition to the government's nuclear plans visible when it unfurled a big yellow banner on Sunday.

"New-Clear Power NOT Nuclear," read the banner hung on the wall of the Central Methodist Mission church in Cape Town’s Green Market Square.

The banner was put up in "solidarity with a cause affecting all South African citizens", according to a press release from Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (Minister of Energy David Mahlobo).

A pastor at the church, Reverend Alan Storey, said people of faith needed to realise that pushing nuclear energy on South Africa was not only short-sighted, but also went against all the evidence that what the Creator provided was sufficient to meet our needs.

"This is a vital faith issue. How can we say that we love the Creator and make policy decisions that can potentially destroy the creation, especially when we have plenty of clean, healthy and inexpensive renewable energy to rely on for our energy needs?" said Storey.

"With nuclear energy, we will only get up to sixty years of service and the generations that follow will be stuck dealing with the long-term damage and associated risks, up to thousands of years. The whole world is seeing the advantages of renewable energy versus the destruction caused by nuclear and we need South Africans to see it too."

"We call on all people of faith, who believe the loving God – no matter your denomination or belief system – to join with Earthlife-Africa Johannesburg (ELA-JHB) and stand against the corrupt R1 trillion nuclear deal, which will no doubt bankrupt and cause irreparable damage to our country," said Storey.

Executive director of Safcei Francesca de Gasparis said Safcei appreciated the leadership of faith communities, such as the Central Methodist Mission.

"Statements like these help us, as citizens of South Africa, to recognise this as a faith issue and motivate us to stand up for our rights to affordable, accessible, safe and environmentally friendly energy," said De Gasparis.

Safcei and ELA-JHB remain vigilant and will continue to legally challenge government’s nuclear aspirations, read the statement.

In April, the High Court in Cape Town ruled in the organisations' favour when they asked it to declare the nuclear bid unlawful because of a lack of public participation.

Last week, they returned to stop Minister of Energy David Mahlobo from fast-tracking another nuclear deal, and the government and Eskom from starting a tender process.

Mahlobo assured the court he would abide by the law.

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