Govt misses court deadline on nuclear plan

Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson.
Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson.

Cape Town - The government failed to submit answering affidavits in the court case with leading environmentalists and activists who claim that Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson acted unconstitutionally in not submitting the government's nuclear deal with Russia to Parliament.

In October last year, Earthlife Africa Johannesburg and the South African Faith Communities Environment Institution (SAFCEI) filed court papers challenging the constitutionality of the intergovernmental framework agreements the Department of Energy signed with Russia, China, South Korea and the USA on the country's planned nuclear development.

On Friday, May 13 was the deadline on which government was supposed to respond to the civil society’s application to the high court, but it failed to deliver answering affidavits by this date, said SAFCEI spokesperson Liziwe McDaid.

“We have therefore instructed our lawyers to apply to the court to force the government to respond. We believe that the government is once again dragging its heels in responding.”

SAFCEI said it waited for Joemat-Pettersson to provide the records of the decisions that are being challenged. “In that period, SAFCEI and Earthlife Africa generously allowed the government extensions which eventually meant that government only provided the requisite documents on February 16 2016.”

The two organisations instructed their lawyers to issue a Rule 30A notice to prohibit further delays. The notice was served on the state attorney on Friday.

Last week Joemat-Pettersson announced her department's intent to issue a request for proposal to confirm market appetite for the fleet of nuclear plants, so that the government can make an informed decision about a nuclear build programme.

She assured South Africans that the procurement process would be above board and that government would stick to a build programme it can afford.

ZAR/USD
16.77
(-0.03)
ZAR/GBP
21.15
(-0.12)
ZAR/EUR
18.95
(-0.03)
ZAR/AUD
11.66
(-0.03)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(-0.09)
Gold
1798.22
(+0.06)
Silver
18.69
(+0.13)
Platinum
824.50
(+0.30)
Brent Crude
43.14
(+2.10)
Palladium
1961.36
(+0.61)
All Share
55417.89
(-0.66)
Top 40
51154.08
(-0.74)
Financial 15
10472.31
(+1.28)
Industrial 25
76134.69
(-1.67)
Resource 10
52483.78
(-0.20)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
I'm not really directly affected
18% - 1961 votes
I am taking a hit, but should be able to recover in the next year
23% - 2565 votes
My finances have been devastated
34% - 3818 votes
It's still too early to know what the full effect will be
25% - 2746 votes
Vote