Mabuza says nuclear deal wasn't discussed during Russian trip

Deputy President David Mabuza says he didn’t discuss South Africa’s nuclear programme when he visited Russia in May.

Mabuza visited Russia after being appointed SA’s special envoy to that country by President Cyril Ramaphosa. 

In a reply to a Parliamentary question, Mabuza said that during the visit he met with the Russian minister of foreign affairs. He said that SA's nuclear programme was not discussed. 

The deputy president said the purpose of the visit was to deliver a message of congratulations to President Vladimir Putin on his re-election and inauguration.

He said talks with the minister of foreign affairs included bilateral relations, upcoming meetings and summits, and South Africa's aim of securing a seat on the United Nations Security Council. 

SA was later elected to serve on the council between 2019 and 2020 as a non-permanent member. 

"In all the issues I have referred to … there is no mention of nuclear,” said Mabuza. “As no discussions regarding the so-called nuclear deal were held, no reference was made about any current and or future agreements. "

“Having said that, our government’s position on nuclear remains that it is part of our energy mix to diversify our sources of energy. Our Integrated Resource Plan to be concluded later in the year, will determine the role of nuclear in that mix.”

In June Minister of Energy Jeff Radebe said that South Africa no longer had an agreement with Russia to develop of nuclear energy, after an earlier intergovernmental agreement was invalidated by the Western Cape High Court in 2017

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