Energy policy

The South African minister of energy, Mmamoloko Kubayi, has decided to not appeal the decision of the Western Cape High Court on the nuclear procurement matter.

Kubayi stressed this announcement in a formal media release over the weekend.

Following this decision, Kubayi has issued the following instruction to the department:

  • Section 34 Determinations: Amongst reparative measures agreed to as the Department, is the review of the processing of all future section 34 determinations and review all determinations currently in place to ensure compliance with this judgement.
  • Intergovernmental Agreements: In accepting the ruling of the court, and ensuring that no impropriety is suggested in the future, the Department seek to apply standardisation in both form and processing (relating to proper tabling before parliament and its committees), of all intergovernmental Agreements to be concluded with international countries. It is important to note that there is no intention to table the current agreements but will embark to sign new agreements with all the five countries and table them within reasonable time to parliament for consideration.

Nuclear court ruling

Earlier this month, NGOs, Earthlife Africa and the Southern Africa Faith-Communities’ Environmental Institute (SAFCEI), who are both questioning various steps taken between 2013 and 2016, brought the case to court after a year and half of court preparation. Read more...

Mail & Guardian reported that judge, Lee Bozalek, ruled the government’s action unconstitutional and found that five decisions it had taken were illegal. These included the government’s decision to go ahead with the nuclear build and the fact that it had handed over the procurement process to the state utility Eskom.

The court also ruled that Eskom’s request for information from nuclear vendors, a step taken to prepare the procurement, which ended on 28 April 2017, was invalid, Mail & Guardian added. Read more...

Minister response

In response to this, Kubayi, noted the judgement by the Cape Town High court in the Earthlife and South African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI) case against the Minister of Energy and other respondents.

The Minister directed the Department to study the judgment, and said that she will pronounce on the matter in due course.

Further, the Minister noted that she would also engage all other relevant parties on the outcome of the matter.

The Department of Energy (DoE) reiterated that the South African Government has not entered into any deal or signed any contract for the procurement of nuclear power.

However, there are Inter-governmental Agreements (IGA’s) signed between South Africa and the following countries: United States of America, South Korea, China, Russia, and France. The Minister will engage Parliament on this matter going forward.