ANC calls for transparency in nuke plans

2015-08-18 13:23

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The ANC has called on the government to commit to a transparent cost analysis of its controversial nuclear power plans. 

The call was made in policy discussion documents that were released this week ahead of the ruling party’s national general council meeting in October. 

“The government must commit to a full, transparent and thorough cost benefit analysis of nuclear power as part of the procurement process,” it said. 

The ANC warned that nuclear energy “can only be procured in line with the legal prescripts and after a thorough-going affordability assessment”. 

The energy department has taken flak for the secretive nature of the nuclear procurement process despite deadlines being set, including the selection of a strategic partner by the end of the financial year. 

The ANC’s call followed a decision by Parliament’s portfolio committee on energy that it would hold hearings to open up the nuclear energy issue. 

“The whole process has been treated as a secretive project but if [it] were opened for discussion it would not be so controversial,” committee chair Fikile Majola told Business Day earlier this month. 

It had also been reported that Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson would be called to the committee to explain the nature of a nuclear reactor cooperation agreement with Russia. The deal was for the supply of as many as eight nuclear plants. 

Meanwhile, the ANC’s policy documents noted that the national electricity shortages were a key constraint to the country’s growth plans and job creation. 

It also warned that “electricity distribution infrastructure collapse” would be the next energy crisis if the national treasury did not get involved and shifts were not made in the way that municipalities depended on rents from electricity sales to cover overall expenses. 

“This forces them to effectively milk electricity users, providing poor supply reliability [through not maintaining the distribution infrastructure] and implementing exorbitant mark-ups which are used for other purposes,” it said. 

The ANC also said that “urgent attention should be paid to strengthening Eskom’s depleted executive management leadership”.

Read more on:    anc  |  fikile majola  |  sa nuclear deal

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