The iconic Greenpeace ship, the Rainbow Warrior anchored off Cape St Francis last week to support the thousands of local residents who are opposed to the building of a nuclear power station at Thyspunt.
Due to strong westerly winds, the planned paddle out did not take place, but locals on boats went out into the Bay to greet the Rainbow Warrior.
The astronomic cost of constructing a nuclear power plant has the potential to bankrupt South Africa yet President Zuma has steamrolled ahead and has signed an agreement with Russia to build a fleet of nuclear power stations along the South African coastline.
The agreement includes clauses that will see South Africa assume all the risk associated with a nuclear power plant and doesn’t seem to make mention of how many locals will be employed during construction.
According to the Mail and Guardian the terms of the agreement lean heavily in Russia’s favour. They:
- Indemnify the Russians from any liability arising from nuclear accidents during the reactors’ life. The agreement says South Africa is “solely responsible for any damage both within and outside the territory of the Republic of South Africa”;
- Hand the Russians a host of regulatory concessions and “special favourable treatment” in tax and other financial matters, but offer South Africa no such incentives; and
- Require Russia’s permission if South Africa wants to export nuclear technology it develops locally as a result of learning from the Russians, thereby hindering government’s aim that the nuclear new-build programme will develop a globally competitive local nuclear industry.
Local residents are eagerly awaiting the release of the latest Thyspunt Impact Studies, which have contained serious flaws in previous versions.
It is clear that Kouga residents understand the dangers of South Africa’s nuclear deal and are prepared to stand their ground on behalf of future generations.