War over nuclear power grows

POINT TO PONDER: Members of the public have been urged to comment on a proposal to build a nuclear reactor at Thyspunt Picture: Supplied
Picture: Supplied

Minister’s statement on procurement ‘astonishingly reckless’

While the energy minister has announced a new endof-month nuclear procurement date, a watchdog is sticking to its guns with the argument that Thyspunt is not the place to build the proposed new reactor.

Thyspunt Alliance spokeswoman Trudi Malan said yesterday Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson’s announcements on Wednesday would form part of the court litigation which has been launched against her by Earthlife Africa and the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute.

“These court cases address the greater issue of nuclear and, while we agree it is a stupid idea and it will bankrupt the country, we are focused on the proposed reactor for Thyspunt and what it will do to this community,” Malan said.

“We [stick] to our [view] that any mega-project like this in a greenfields area does not make sense.”

With sensitive dune fields and fynbos vegetation, Thyspunt is west of Cape St Francis.

Malan said the recent statement by former Kouga ward councillor and portfolio head of local economic development Phumzile Oliphant that the alliance was “anti-poor” in its stance against the Thyspunt nuclear project was nonsense.

“If you want anti-poor look at the Medupi coal-fired power station mega-project which was supposed to help the poor in Lephalale. Studies have clearly shown it has been detrimental to the poor and the fat cats just got fatter.”

If Pettersson issues the requests for proposals it will be the first official step towards the much-vaunted nuclear deal because it will state South Africa’s nuclear needs.

The expectation is that the requests for proposal will, for the first time, give a sense of what technology the government would prefer.

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