2011 has got off to a flying start for the Squid industry in the region with reports of good catches off the coast coming in from the fisherman. The year will be a big one for the fishing industry which generates around R 600 Million of foreign currency for South Africa through the export of top grade calamari to Europe and elsewhere.

A massive squid caught off the South African coastline. Photo: Clive Chamberlain

The fishing community will have their backs up against the wall in the fight to stop a nuclear power plant being built on the coast that could result in an entire industry being put in jeopardy

NO Nuke at Thyspunt

There is every indication that Eskom will forge ahead with their plans to build a nuclear power station at Thyspunt which will have a dramatic effect on the Chokka breeding grounds off our coastline.

In the early 1980’s when the initial feasibility studies were carried out that determined that Thyspunt would be a suitable site for a nuclear plant, the Chokka industry was not yet in existence. An entire industry that has created thousands of jobs is now at risk and this is unacceptable.

An honest man can earn an honest wage at sea. What will the fishermen do should they lose their jobs due to a Nuke at Thyspunt? Photo: Clive Chamberlain

From the rolling black outs South Africa experienced in 2008, it is clear that Eskom’s forward planning has been dismal and took no note of the expansion of South Africa’s economy during the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Now we are in a crisis and the solutions are limited.

Thyspunt will not solve the short term need for power either as the construction will take an estimated seven years and internationally the trend is that construction of nuclear power plants generally overshoots the estimated construction time.

Eskom has identified that 2014 will see power demand exceed supply and that South Africa can expect more rolling black outs over the next few years, at huge cost to our national economy.

The short term solution certainly seems to be in the direction of renewable energy for South Africa and that is the viewpoint of many local residents who would prefer not to have nuclear waste stored on our doorstep and to see an influx of workers coming into the area looking for jobs that do not exist.

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