In a peaceful demonstration at the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) premises on Thursday, Earth Life Africa (ELA) handed over a memorandum to Necsa relating to allegations of ill health caused to Necsa employees.

The memorandum was accepted by Group CEO, Phumzile Tshelane.

Necsa was notified on 7 November 2017, of Earthlife Africa’s (ELA’s) intention to march on Thursday, 16 November 2017, and hand over a memorandum relating to allegations that Necsa is accountable  to workers who allege to have contracted occupational diseases whilst working for the organisation.

Tshelane promised to revert as soon as he gets any correspondence from the Public Protector’s office, the nuclear corporation said in a statement. Read more...

 

Earthlife Africa

Necsa explained: “In 2012 Earthlife Africa had formally handed over the records and medical files of hundreds of the workers to the Public Protector, who has investigated the allegations that working at Necsa left many of them terminally ill and caused the death of dozens of others.”

The allegations by the complainants are currently being investigated by the Public Protector.

Necsa is awaiting the Public Protector’s final report and we will determine any actions based on its conclusions and recommendations.

Background: Necsa

In 2004, Necsa provided information upon request, in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA)), which was promulgated in 2000, regarding former employees.

The request was received from the South African Historical Archives (SAHA) who acted on behalf of Earthlife Africa (ELA) who in turn acted on behalf of the former employees.

Necsa explained that ELA then employed Dr Murray Coombs of Health Gap Network who at that point in time, found that insufficient data was available to draw any conclusion in respect of impaired health.

In addition, the NGO also advised that they would take court action to oppose the recent government decision to approve the Duynefontein site near the existing Koeberg nuclear power station.

The site has been pegged for the construction of the first of a group of new nuclear power plants.

 

Featured image: Stock