Anti nuclear group prepares for a fight over Thyspunt

Environmentalists, civic organisations and cultural activists are gearing up for a fight over the proposed construction of a nuclear reactor at Thyspunt, about 10 km from St Francis Bay.

They argue that consultation by Eskom is inadequate, and that their presentations against the project and its impact have not been well considered.

They have organised themselves into an association called the Thyspunt Alliance comprising 10 organisations representing various sectors and interests according to a report in Fin24.

These are: St Francis Bay Residents’ Association; Cape St Francis Civic Association; Foster, an environmental organisation; Port St Francis Harbour Association; Gamtkwa Khoisan Council; Jeffreys Bay Boardriders; St Francis Kromme Trust; Sea Vista View; Supertubes Surfing Foundation; and the SA Squid Management Industrial Association (Sasmia).

“People also opposed to the proposed development can join as individuals,” said alliance coordinator Trudy Malan in an interview with City Press

“This area cannot sustain such a development, both from a social and biophysical viewpoint,” Malan said.

“We believe in this case, strength does lie in numbers and it would therefore be an advantage for the cause to have more civil society and business associations join the alliance.”

Initially Eskom, which wants to build the multibillion-rand project, identified five sites, but has now chosen Thyspunt as the preferred one.

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The 10 alliance partners have each engaged experts in culture, environment, fishing, geology and other areas to argue their case by submitting detailed and well-researched presentations to both Eskom and the department of environmental affairs, which is conducting the environmental impact assessments (EIAs) for the area.

As it is now, the department has not yet made a final decision as to whether it will go ahead with the project at Thyspunt.

Studies are still being conducted.

“The final EIA report was submitted to the department, but they have yet to issue authorisation,” said Malan.

“The date for the issuing of a possible record of decision by the department is somewhere between May and mid-June.

“If the authorisation is positive for the Thyspunt site, we will follow due process to challenge it. That is, we will first take the matter on review, and if we are not happy with the outcome, we will challenge it in court.”

To read the full story click fin24.com

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