Despite the joy over the past few day’s that the battle to stop Eskom from building a nuclear power plant at Thyspunt has been won, it appears as if Eskom is carrying on with the project regardless.
The South African Heritage Resources Council (SAHRA) failed to approve of Thypunt being a suitable site for a nuclear power plant due to the sensitive nature of the area.
According to Elza Van Lingen, the DA member of Parliament for Kouga, she received a written response from Arts and Culture Minister Lulu Xingwana who made it clear in a written reply that the Heritage Impact Study (HIA) had not been approved because of the “sensitive nature of this site”. She wrote: “ … the HIA is not approved by SAHRA so the development will not proceed.”
However the National Security of Electricity Supply will outweigh the pro’s and con’s of the various impact studies accoring to Mike Kantey, the chairman of the Coalition against Nuclear Energy (CANE)
“The latest Government report indicates that 6 nuclear reactors are being planned, with two of them earmarked for Thyspunt”, said Kantey. “If this Plan is approved, the Thyspunt reactor will go ahead and there will be no chance for a favourable court decision, since the policy will be cast in stone: National Security of Electricity Supply will trump EIA”.
The public only has until 10 November to have their input and a government decision is due by the 16 December and then it would appear that Thyspunt will continue despite the fatally flawed Environmental Impact Studies.
Kantey has called for a public meetings to be held in Jeffreys Bay and St Francis Bay to ensure that the community is properly informed about the process that is due to take place.
According to a report in the Daily Dispatch, Eskom has indicated that it is business as usual at Thyspunt and that the national electricity supplier is carrying on with the Impact Studies.
Rumours that additional land is being bought up by Eskom in the area will do little to alleviate the fears of a looming social and environmental disaster should a nuclear power station at Thyspunt go ahead.