With no tender process at all, South Africa has entered into an agreement with Russia to supply 9.6 GW of nuclear power based on Russian technology by 2030.
“Rosatom is ready to assist South Africa in creating a world class industrial cluster from the initial stage of the nuclear fuel cycle to engineering and production of equipment,” said Rosatom Head Sergei Kiriyenko.
“I am sure that cooperation with Russia will allow us to implement our ambitious plans for the creation by 2030 of 9.6 GW of new nuclear capacities based on modern and safe technologies,” said Tina Joemat-Pettersson, South Africa’s energy minister. .
“This agreement opens up the door for South Africa to access Russian technologies, funding, infrastructure, and provides proper and solid platform for future extensive collaboration,” she added.
South Africans are still in the dark as to what type of nuclear reactors will be built and where, despite the announcement that the Government had identified three sites.
Jeffreys Bay residents can feel concerned that Thyspunt, near Oyster Bay is the Government’s preferred site, even though serious flaws have been identified in the still incomplete Impact Studies.
The shroud of secrecy that has surrounded the nuclear deal should also set alarm bells ringing.
Why has there been no transparent tender process and why is the findings of the Integrated Resource Plan, which state that South Africa does not need a nuclear programme in the short term, being ignored?
“With South Africa facing massive power constraints and the ever-present threat of higher electricity prices pressuring South African pockets – which the this deal is sure to impact on – the Minister must act in an open and accountable manner and provide details on the proposed deal as a matter of urgency to the South African public,” said Lance Greyling from the DA.
No matter what South African’s personal opinion of nuclear energy is, the nuclear deal has the potential to make the arms deal look tame in comparison.