Radebe under fire over nuclear energy
ENERGY Minister Jeff Radebe has come under fire in Parliament, with opposition parties calling for him to come clean on whether the nuclear deal is indeed off the table.
They demanded that the government halt any nuclear plans.
This comes after Radebe earlier said that nuclear was still part of the government’s energy mix, but that this would be determined by the revised Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) that is to be unveiled in August.
But opposition parties yesterday were having none of it, and said nuclear energy plans had to be stopped in their tracks.
The chairman of the portfolio committee on energy, Fikile Majola, said the revised IRP was needed to bring certainty to the market.
He said Radebe had to present the revised IRP to the committee by the fourth quarter of the year.
The DA’s Thandeka Gqada said the government’s nuclear plans had been mired in controversy, with the Guptas and the Russians in the mix for years. She said they wanted the government to stop sending mixed messages and halt the process.
Gqada said Radebe had promised to address some of the issues raised on nuclear energy. “What the minister has failed to answer to the committee is whether the government will pursue nuclear?” said Gqada. The EFF’s Khonziwe Hlonyana said the implementation of the nuclear deal would lead to the looting of state coffers on an industrial scale.
It has been estimated that nuclear energy would cost more than R1trillion, but the government has not confirmed the actual cost. It has said that the cost would depend on the nuclear bidding process.
Cope deputy leader Willie Madisha said the splitting of the Department of Energy and Mineral Resources by former president Jacob Zuma nine years ago was to re-purpose it for the nuclear deal with the Russians.
“We want to thank Makoma Lekalala and Liz McDaid (of Earthlife Africa) for delaying the nuclear deal. We want you, Minister, to state if the nuclear deal is off the table, and if so, why?” said Madisha.
Earthlife Africa took the government to court to halt the nuclear deal, leading to the Department of Energy having to stop any procurement processes.